by Staff Writers
Asuncion (AFP) Sept 19, 2012
A fierce storm packing 140-kilometer (87-mile) an hour winds tore across the heart of South America on Wednesday, killing five people in Paraguay and wreaking havoc in Argentina and Uruguay.
The Roque Alonso suburb of the Paraguayan capital Asuncion was devastated by the storm and widespread looting was reported in its aftermath.
Four police cadets died and 15 were injured when the roof of their dormitory collapsed, and a 16-year-old boy died at a shopping center when a water tank collapsed on him outside a pharmacy.
"Roque Alonso has to be built all over again," police commander Heriberto Marmol said.
Dozens of injured people flooded Asuncion hospitals and traffic was gridlocked in parts of the city.
A crowd of thousands braved torrential rain for a concert by the rock band Scorpions only to see the show cancelled.
Nationwide, at least 5,000 homes were destroyed and more than 80 people injured in storm-related incidents, Aldo Saldivar of the national emergency response center said.
The storm also blew the roof off homes and barns in Neembucu, south of the capital and knocked out power in the town of Encarnacion for many hours.
The wind was less severe further south in Argentina and Uruguay, around 100 kilometers (62 mph) per hour, but strong gusts still ripped of roofs and toppled trees and power lines, plunging some regions into darkness.
Weather News at TerraDaily.com
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