nat 117
Sep 13, 2000
Heavy Snowfall in Patagonia Leaves Hundreds of Travelers Stranded
The Associated Press
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) - Heavy snowfall blanketed Argentina's southwestern provinces for a sixth consecutive day Wednesday, leaving hundreds of travelers stranded and blocking major border crossings into neighboring Chile.
The unseasonably cold weather began last Friday with wind gusts of up to 125 mph and temperatures dropping as low as minus 15 degrees.  Similar conditions continued Wednesday, local reports said.
Authorities said at least 850 travelers are stranded at the mouth of a tunnel crossing through the Andes mountains into Chile.  Across several provinces, food and fuel shortages have been reported, and many roads have been closed by drifting snow.
Earlier this week, thousands of tourists had to be airlifted out of San Carlos de Bariloche, a popular ski resort 870 miles southwest of Buenos Aires, after roads in the area were declared impassable.
Forecasters said weather conditions are expected to improve by the end of the week.


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