Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

160,000 Flee Their Homes as Devastating Flooding Hits South America

Climate

More than 100,000 people have been evacuated throughout the bordering areas of Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil as severe flooding continued to batter South America this weekend.

According to new figures released Sunday by the Municipal Emergencies office, as many as 160,000 people have had to flee their homes due to the flooding that began Dec. 18—a devastating result of this season's El Niño storms.

Many of those impacted are low-income families living along the Paraguay River, a major river that runs through Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina.

"[The flooding] was directly influenced by the El Niño phenomenon which has intensified the frequency and intensity of rains," the office said.

As the United Nations weather agency, the World Meteorological Organization, warned last month, this year's storm season is the worst in more than 15 years and is likely to bring yet more flooding and droughts to the tropics and subtropics.

The flooding in South America follows recent severe storms in Yemen and Mexico. In October, after Hurricane Patricia made landfall in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and Manzanillo, Mexico, and forced the evacuation of 50,000 people, due to climate change, it was "exactly the kind of terrifying storm we can expect to see more frequently in the decades to come," Slate meteorologist Eric Holthaus reported.

Paraguay has been the hardest hit, with an estimated 100,000 displaced, while 20,000 have been left homeless in Argentina and 9,000 in Uruguay. At least eight people have been killed across the region, according to local media.

Paraguay's emergencies office also said the river is likely to rise in the coming days and may not subside until January.

Paraguay has reportedly declared a state of emergency in Asunción.

As Corrientes governor Ricardo Colombi said on Sunday, "the consequences [of the flooding] will be serious."

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Toxic Floods From Coal Mines and Power Plants Hit Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay World Heritage Site

5 Extreme Weather Events Devastating the Planet​

Flood Risk in Europe Expected to Double by 2050

14 Extreme Weather Events Linked to Climate Change

 

 

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A view of a washed out road near Utuado, Puerto Rico, after a Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew dropped relief supplies to residents Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. The locals were stranded after Hurricane Maria by washed out roads and mudslides. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Eric D. Woodall / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By Coral Natalie Negrón Almodóvar

The Earth began to shake as Tamar Hernández drove to visit her mother in Yauco, Puerto Rico, on Dec. 28, 2019. She did not feel that first tremor — she felt only the ensuing aftershocks — but she worried because her mother had an ankle injury and could not walk. Then Hernández thought, "What if something worse is coming our way?"

Read More
Flooded battery park tunnel is seen after Hurricane Sandy in 2012. CC BY 2.0

President Trump has long touted the efficacy of walls, funneling billions of Defense Department dollars to build a wall on the southern border. However, when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) released a study that included plans for a sea wall to protect New Yorkers from sea-level rise and catastrophic storms like Hurricane Sandy, Trump mocked it as ineffective and unsightly.

Read More
Sponsored
A general view of fire damaged country in the The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area near the town of Blackheath on Feb. 21, 2020 in Blackheath, Australia. Brook Mitchell / Getty Images

In a post-mortem of the Australian bushfires, which raged for five months, scientists have concluded that their intensity and duration far surpassed what climate models had predicted, according to a study published yesterday in Nature Climate Change.

Read More
Sea level rise causes water to spill over from the Lafayette River onto Llewellyn Ave in Norfolk, Virginia just after high tide on Aug. 5, 2017. This road floods often, even when there is no rain. Skyler Ballard / Chesapeake Bay Program

By Tim Radford

The Texan city of Houston is about to grow in unexpected ways, thanks to the rising tides. So will Dallas. Real estate agents in Atlanta, Georgia; Denver, Colorado; and Las Vegas, Nevada could expect to do roaring business.

Read More
Malala Yousafzai (left) and Greta Thunberg (right) met in Oxford University Tuesday. Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

What happens when a famous school striker meets a renowned campaigner for education rights?

Read More