With temperatures up around 45°C (113°F) in parts of the South American nation, hundreds of thousands of people were left without electricity when power grids failed in and around capital city Buenos Aires. Jose Casabal, 42, who whisked his children off to find somewhere to cool down, said: “I came home and we were without electricity and the house was a furnace.
“So I took them off to their grandmother’s house to swim in the pool.”
The temperatures in Argentina, where dry hot weather driven by the La Nina weather pattern is already hitting crops, meant that for several hours it was the hottest place on earth, taking over from parts of Australia that cooled during the night.
Gustavo Barrios, 34, from Tigre, told of the “unbearable” weather conditions.
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He said: “Even early morning it was very hot, around 31 degrees.
“I do not have air conditioning at home and we were with just the fan blowing hot air. It’s unbearable.”
Local leaders warned residents to stay out of the sun in the hottest part of the day, wear light clothes and stay hydrated.
Buenos Aires city mayor Horacio Rodriguez Larreta said: ”We have to be very careful these days.”
Meteorologist Lucas Berengua said that the heatwave was off the charts and could set records in the country.
He added: ”This is a heatwave of extraordinary characteristics, with extreme temperature values that will even be analysed after its completion, and it may generate some historical records for Argentina temperatures and persistence of heat.”
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Professional meteorologist from Scotland Scott Duncan tweeted: “Buenos Aires, Argentina falls into darkness as intense heat pushes infrastructure beyond limits.
“This is one of the hottest temperatures in recorded history for the city.
“Unfortunately, this is only the beginning of a brutal & historic heatwave in South America.”
The brutal weather has prompted questions over climate change and more extreme weather.
In recent years Argentina has seen unusual amounts of wildfires around its main river delta and the major Parana River drop to a nearly 80-year low water level.
Architect Marta Lorusso, 59, told how he has witnessed the weather change over the years.
He said: ”I was always born here in a temperate climate and I saw how the temperature changed over the years, and it is not what we’re used to.
“This with the low pressure really kills me, I can’t stand it.
“I drink litres of water and do what I can. And on top of it all, without electricity. I don’t know what to do.”
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