At least 10 dead as severe floods and landslides hit Paraguay

At least 10 dead as severe floods and landslides hit Paraguay

At least 10 people have died in central and southern Paraguay after heavy rainfall over the past few days triggered severe floods and landslides. According to the Directorate of Meteorology and Hydrology (DMH), several areas in the central region recorded 500 mm (20 inches) more rainfall than the January average.

Heavy rains intensified during storms that began on January 31, 2021. The DMH reported 144 mm (5.7 inches) of rain in a 24 hour period to February 1 in Luque City. About 173.8 mm (6.8 inches) in the following 24 hour period in Paraguari, and another 100.2 mm (3.9 inches) in Oviedo. 

Strong winds reached up to 140 km/h (87 mph) in other areas, particularly in Canindeyu Department.

The National Emergency Secretariat (SEN) said they assisted flood victims in Yaguarón, Paraguarí Department, and Caacupé in Cordillera Departments. Severe flooding was also reported in Tobati and Pribebuy.

At least 10 people have died in different incidents -- five of whom were in the Central Department, one in the Itapua Department, and four in the Asuncion Metropolitan area, where the victims were hit by a collapsed building or struck by lightning. 

Among the fatalities were a grandmother and her two grandchildren, aged six and eight, who perished after a landslide caused a fire from a fuel tank.

paraguay-severe-weather-feb-2021

​Image credit: DMH

Over the past seven days, the water level of the Paraguay River Asuncion has increased 1.98 m (6.5 feet). As of February 2, the river stood at 3.73 m (12.2 feet), prompting authorities to evacuated residents in areas along the river in Banado Sur.

According to the city government in Banado Sur and Banado Norte, further evacuations may be needed as the Paraguay River is set to rise above 4.5 m (14.8 feet) by late February, which may affect about 2 500 families in the area.

Featured image credit: Apocalypse/YouTube

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