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70,000 families displaced in Paraguay flooding

/ 07:27 PM May 27, 2019

ASUNCION, Paraguay –  Heavy flooding in Paraguay has displaced 70,000 families and is threatening to further inundate the capital Asuncion in the coming weeks, the country’s weather bureau said.

Water levels on the Paraguay River are rising at a rate of 4-5 centimeters (1.5-2 inches) every day and is only 46 cm (18 in) below a “disaster” level, according to official data from the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology (DMH).

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Crossing that threshold would “have a very strong impact” because of the number of Asuncion residents who have moved into the city’s floodplain, said DMH deputy director Nelson Perez on Sunday.

The city’s water service infrastructure was clogged with garbage which was exacerbating the floods, Perez added.

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 70,000 families displaced in Paraguay flooding

View of a flooded area in town of Puerto Falcon, near Asuncion, on May 25, 2019, after heavy rains in the past weeks caused the overflowing of the Paraguay River. – The water level of the Paraguay River, which is rising sharply and has caused the displacement of some 70,000 families so far, threatens to reach “disaster level” in Asuncion in a couple of weeks, the spokesmen of the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology (DMH) said on May 26, 2019. (Photo by Norberto DUARTE / AFP)

Unusually heavy downpours over May, including two days which together exceeded Asuncion’s average monthly rainfall, have exacerbated the flooding, said DMH meteorologist Eduardo Mingo.

Some 40,000 people in Asuncion have already been affected by the floods, official data reported.

A further 10,000 people have been displaced in the southern town of Pilar on the Argentinian border.

The government has mobilized armed forces to help displaced residents relocate to shelters, but hundreds of families have opted to stay behind in their inundated homes. /gg

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TAGS: Asuncion, families displaced, Flooding, Paraguay, rains, world news
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