Major flash flooding in Paraguay's Itapúa after dam breach

Major flash flooding in Paraguay's Itapúa after dam breach

A major flash flooding event took place in Paraguay's Itapúa department on April 9, 2017, after an old dam at the San Benito lake collapsed, breaking the Graneros del Sur road in two. This was just one of three flash flood events in the south of the country yesterday after heavy rains began on Saturday, April 8.

According to locals, the water levels in San Benito lake were low for 30 years before the recent extremely heavy rains. Authorities said there were no casualties but flooding caused major infrastructural damage. It seems the breach occurred as a result of the rupture of the dam, caused by the immense flow of water that fell during the storm. The dam was used by San Benito agricultural school for electricity but was abandoned for a long time.

The Ministry of Public Works and Communications said the people in charge of the dam had to open the floodgate to release the water.

Video courtesy Estefanhy Ramirez

Video courtesy Itapúa en Noticias

Heavy rains in the south of the country caused two more flash flood events.

According to the mayor of the district of Pirapó, Milciades Flores, the overflow of the Pirapó stream on Sunday affected 15 families. 

Flores said the floods caused significant damage to riparian crops and a number of farm animals were swept away by floodwaters, but there were no human casualties. Locals said the level reached by the stream was historic and affected more than just 15 families.

Video courtesy Itapúa en Noticias

The overflow of the Aguapey stream in the district of Edelira caused traffic chaos, but there was no significant damage reported in the area.

Featured image: Lake San Benito dam breach in Paraguay's Itapúa department on April 9, 2017. Credit: Estefanhy Ramirez

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