Updated 03:03 AM EST, Fri, Jan 28, 2022

Argentina Declares a State of Emergency: Flooding Forces Over 20,000 Residents to Evacuate

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Over 20,000 residents of five coastal provinces in Argentina have been forced to evacuate due to floods caused by the overflowing of the Parana, Paraguay, and Uruguay rivers.

According to a report from Prensa Latina, the water levels in the rivers could reach up to 16 meters because of the heavy rainfall. The cities of Chaco, Corrientes, Formosa, and Santa Fe have been affected, specifically Entre Rios, whose provincial government declared a state of emergency. Officials in Corrientes also reported that a 13-year-old was electrocuted due to the flooding.

Enrique Cresto, the mayor of the city of Concordia in Entre Rios, said that there has never been a flood like this in the city's history, Prensa Latina reported. The disaster caused a quarter of the city to be submerged underwater.

Entre Rios Governor Gustavo Bordet said that the flooding has reached critical levels, and that the water will keep mounting to a level it has never reached since 1959, the news outlet added.

This week, Chief of Staff Marcos Peña said that they are prioritizing control, assisting evacuees, and alleviating the situation, Prensa Latina noted. He also announced that Vice President Gabriela Michetti, Interior Minister Rogelio Frigerio, and Social Development Minister Carolina Stanley are traveling to Entre Rios to view the damage and evaluate disaster relief needs.

Horacio Rey, Chaco's government general secretary, told the state-run Telam news agency that a "comprehensive assistance plan" was being implemented for those affected, BBC reported. This includes "sanitary operations, delivery of merchandise, assistance to producers and infrastructure projects to protect against the costs," the news outlet added.

According to Yahoo! News, almost 150,000 citizens were forced to evacuate from their homes in Paraguay, Argentina, and Uruguay because of the severe flooding. Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes declared a state of emergency to roll out more than $3.5 million in disaster funds.

125,000 homes were without power in Paraguay's Asunción capital, and 17 power distribution centers have been knocked out across the country, Yahoo! News added. More than a dozen fatalities were reported, the National Emergency Secretariat, or SEN, announced. David Arellano, the agency's head of operations, said rescue and evacuation operations are currently in progress to assist dozens of families affected by floodwaters from the Paraguay River.

On Wednesday, Uruguay also declared a state of emergency in three northern areas affected by flooding, the news outlet noted. In November and December, the Rio de la Plata river basin located in Argentina's northeast region received between 150 and 300 millimeters more rain than is normal for the period, the farm industry ministry announced in a statement.

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