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Landslide in Bariloche: why tourists did not find out about the alert before going for a walk


The mountain refuges do not have an internet connection. And from the National Park they reported that the trails are not usually closed.


mountain is a dangerous place

even for those who are prepared or are experts in the matter.

Because, in addition to the challenges of geography and climate, is added the

difficulties of communication

in sectors far from the big cities.

In this context, talking on a cell phone can be difficult.

Although sometimes it is achieved and ends up saving lives.

On Thursday, Lucila Collado (35) and Iván Nichi (33), two tourists from La Plata, left the San Martín Refuge bound for Bariloche when a Yellow Alert from the National Meteorological Service weighed on the Nahuel Huapi National Park and the entire region. warning of thunderstorms and torrential rains.


they never found out.

Both had spent the night in the facilities that are located in front of the Jakob Lagoon and when they left there was no rain or signs that the weather could offer complications.

In fact,

it was not raining at all.

Those in charge of the shelter were also not aware of the statement

issued for that day by the park administration.

The information was available in Bariloche, where the local media and official websites had widely disseminated it.

Lucila Collado and Iván Nichi were swept away by an avalanche in Bariloche.

Lucila and Iván were not the only ones trekking that day in the

Nahuel Huapi National Park

, it is estimated that dozens of people walked the countless trails that cross the 710,000 hectares that make up its territory.

Movements were also recorded from other shelters such as Agostino Rocca, Berghof, Frey, López, Otto Meiling and Italia Manfredo Segre.

The San Martín shelter has a capacity for 48 people and at this time

it is generally full.

It is that in general the park does not close its trails or expressly prohibits the transit of tourists.

Each hiker operates under his responsibility in these cases, they explain from the administration.

If there is any type of restriction, these are usually very punctual and only during the specific time that the bad weather front lasts.

Which can be

minutes or hours.

About 5 minutes before the couple from La Plata, other tourists crossed the same streams without any problems.

A fact that only highlights the randomness of the weather and

the capricious “mood”

of the mountains in Patagonia.

The avalanche that affected the couple of tourists dragged "stones the size of a car," according to one of the victims.

After advancing on their journey for a long time and already close to the Tambo de Báez,

the couple was trapped by an avalanche or current made up of water,

mud, stones and pieces of trees.

As a consequence, Lucía suffered a double exposed fracture and lost part of one leg.

In the town, doctors and rescuers say that it was a miracle.

At this time, the woman is recovering at the Bariloche Zonal Hospital in an Intermediate Care room.

The downpour that surprised them and that probably triggered the detachment of rocky material, feeding the flow of the stream

, lasted for about 15 minutes.

That was enough to cause the tragedy.

The tourists' complaint was that they

did not receive information

about the alert when they left the refuge, although there are reasons to explain this omission,

their managers explain to

Clarín .

"From the Refuge, not only did they not notify us of the storm alert, but they did not warn anyone, they let people down without warning them of anything," Nichi told El Día de La Plata, and explained that in the sector

there was no phone signal.

“We were not aware of the storm.

The shower surprised us from one moment to the next,”

he assured.

The truth is that

in the shelters there is no internet

and communications with civilization are almost always difficult.

On the other hand, those in charge of the shelters only access the data of the Park's alerts when they communicate by radio from the park itself for some very important reason,

 Claudio Fidani, concessionaire of the refuge , points out to

Clarín .


were not aware of the alert

and we did not have access to the statement from the Nahuel Huapi Park.

Thursday's downpour lasted around 15 minutes and this type of weather situation is normal in the mountains.

It is a place where there are constant changes that go from the wind to the rain, it is precisely

necessary to always be cautious”,

explains Fidani, one of the most respected mountaineers in the region.

He was one of the rescuers who saved the young woman's life.

“The mountains are a difficult and dangerous place, you have changing weather conditions all the time and

closing trails or the park is not something that is usually done

in parks anywhere in the world.

It can be counterproductive because it also generates complicated situations for those who trek or scale.

It's not easy to say what these guys should have done.

Staying in the refuge is not always an option,” says Toncek Arko, a mountain historian and legendary Bariloche guide.

“Prohibiting transit is often a political issue, because nature has its own rules and it is always changing.

What happens is that people go out for a walk and forget about the immense power of nature, so even though there is an alert, it can be very punctual, because

you will always have complex conditions in the mountains”

, affirms Arko.

The refuges have a radio and thus they can communicate

(with Bariloche or National Parks), but there is no custom of notifying about closures of chopped or climatic issues.

These communications are made public to the public through their networks usually ”, Mariano Sebesta, from Agostino Rocca, explains to this newspaper.

“We do not have the power to prohibit people from anything inside the park.

Those are the duties of park rangers.

We are only responsible for what happens inside the shelter, ”she adds.

From the Nahuel Huapi National Park they explain that the statement warning the National Meteorological Service Alert was widely disseminated in the Bariloche media and organizations linked to the mountain.

They also acknowledge that no trails or areas are closed despite the alerts in question.

“We have a formalized procedure that, in response to the alerts generated by the National Meteorological Service, we issue reports and make decisions based on the type of alert.

As a result of this case, a Yellow Alert was issued

for torrential rains and electrical storms,

and complying with this procedure, we make a massive communication warning of the phenomenon, but the areas or trails are not closed," Horacio


, mayor of the Nahuel Huapi National Park.

"This massive communication is received by all the media and is deployed and also by organizations, such as the case of Club Andino. Now that the shelter is expressing that (that they did not have the official information) we are going to formally corroborate the case," he added. .




look also

After a 26-hour operation, they rescued four climbers with the beginning of freezing on El Mercedario hill in San Juan

The dramatic story after the avalanche in Bariloche: "There were stones the size of a car"

Source: clarin

All life articles on 2023-01-24

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