Daily Management Review

Floods Affected by El Niño Leave More Than 100,000 Homeless in Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay


Floods Affected by El Niño Leave More Than 100,000 Homeless in Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay
Severe flooding in the wake of heavy summer rains brought on by El Niño has forced more than 100,000 people have to evacuate from their homes in the bordering areas of Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina, authorities said on Saturday.
The worst affected country has been Paraguay and the worst affected region has been the area around the capital city of Asuncion from where around 90,000 people have been evacuated, the municipal Emergencies Office said. Many of the  evacuated are poor families who had been living in precarious housing along the banks of the River Paraguay.
A state of emergency has been declared in Asuncion and seven regions of the country by the Paraguayan government in order to free up funds to help those affected.
Local media reported deaths of several people due caused by trees falling in the storms that caused the flooding. There was no official death toll yet.
The government recommended that several thousand more people living along the banks of the River Paraguay evacuate in Alberdi, some 120 kilometers (75 miles) south of Asuncion.
"(The flooding) was directly influenced by the El Niño phenomenon which has intensified the frequency and intensity of rains," the national Emergencies Office said.
The U.N. weather agency, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), said last month t hat this year's "El Nino," which sparks global climate extremes, is the worst in more than 15 years.
"Severe droughts and devastating flooding being experienced throughout the tropics and sub-tropical zones bear the hallmarks of this El Nino, which is the strongest in more than 15 years," WMO chief Michel Jarraud said in a statement.
The Paraguay river would rise even more in the coming days and would only stabilize and fall back towards normal levels from January onwards, Officials at Paraguay's Emergencies Office said.
He Argentinian government in formed that more than 20,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in northern Argentina.
"We are going to have a few complicated months, the consequences will be serious," said Ricardo Colombi, the governor of the Corrientes region, after flying over the worst affected areas with national Cabinet Chief Marcos Pena. National government aid was already on its way, Pena added.
Infrastructure improvement would be made a priority so that such flooding did not occur again, says the new president, Mauricio Macri, who took office earlier this month.
"Argentina has a very big lack of infrastructure," he said. Macri visited the flooded areas on Sunday.
The National Emergencies Office of Uruguay expects the water levels in rivers to remain at their current level for several days before subsiding. More than 9,000 people have had to flee their homes in the country due to flooding.
Local media reported the death of at least four people in Argentina and Uruguay due to the storms and floods. One was reported to have drowned while another was electrocuted by a fallen power cable.
(Source:www.reuters.com & www.theguardian.com)