Formosa is hardest-hitSaturday, June 28, 2014
Rains lead to 8,000 evacuees
Rains expected this weekend in Misiones, northern Corrientes and the Paraguay River basin are likely to worsen flooding conditions that have already led to the evacuation of 8,000 people.
In addition, the Uruguay and Paraná river basins are likely to be affected by the coming rains.
Provincial authorities in Misiones and Formosa in particular are on alert after 150 to 250 millimetres of rain fell in the last four days and Formosa province governor Gildo Insfrán has declared a state of emergency.
Administrators of the bi-national Yacyretá hydroelectric dam, have warned that the strong rains would bring river levels to “near levels of alert” and that the Paraná river “will, in the next 48 hours, reach an upper limit of 3.5 metres.” The dam opened its floodgates just under two weeks ago when heavy rains had similarly swollen the river, affecting communities downstream in Misiones and Corrientes.
The latest rains come on top of the precipitation that had already affected large parts of the country’s north-east.
The town of Clorinda in Formosa has been one of the areas worst hit by the rains, as classes have been suspended after the town was flooded. In the nearby town of Pilcomayo all of its inhabitants self-evacuated, according to Clorinda Mayor Miguel Celauro.
Provincial authorities expect the water in the area to recede by early next week. In the meantime the town’s schools are being used as temporary shelters. Another thousand families have taken shelter in the city of Formosa and a drive to collect foodstuffs, shoes, clothing and mattresses for those in urban settings.
In Misiones province some 1,500 people have evacuated in eight municipalities, with El Soberbio (some 250 kilometres from the provincial capital Posadas) bearing the brunt of the rains. The town has six shelters that so far are hosting 400 families and authorities are attempting to account for the situation of villagers in the surrounding area.
“We appeal to the solidarity of the people of Misiones” to bring mattresses, blankets, foodstuffs, diapers and winter clothing for adults and children, said Jorge Franco, a Misiones minister.
Herald staff with Télam