As many as 400 families have been forced to leave their homes after flooding in the province of Santiago del Estero in northern Argentina.
In the north of the province, the water level in the Río Hondo Reservoir rose significantly due to intense rainfall that occurred during the first days of March 2016 in the upstream province of Tucumán.
Authorities opened reservoir outlets to avoid the dam from overtopping and to prevent any subsequent damage to the city of Termas de Río Hondo, located immediately downstream of the dam.
Up to 800 cubic metres of water per second were released from the spillway of the dam and into the Dulce River. The flow continued its route along the Dulce River, causing floods in the southern departments of Mitra, Salavina and Aguirre in Santiago del Estero province.
Several houses, most of them constructed in flood-prone areas along the river banks, were affected by the flood event. As many as 400 families were forced to leave their homes, although others refused to leave their homes, fearing thieves would take their possessions. Wide areas of farmland also suffered significant damage. Supplies and medical care have been provided by the provincial government.
In the Salavina department, the Útis River, a non-constant stream formed as a result of increased level in the Dulce River, also overflowed, causing damage to crops and livestock in the area.
News agency Telam report that the areas worst affected are Lote 24, El Albardón, Loma Blanca, Estelita, Domingo de Ramos, Pampa Atun, Puesto Las Abras, Tramo 40, Álvarez Gallo, San Nicolás, La Capilla, El Porrón and Fuerte Esperanzaco.
According to the civil defence authorities of the province, the situation is expected to improve now that the rainfall in the northern regions has eased. Subsequently, discharge from the Río Hondo Dam outlets has also decreased, and as of 14 March 2016, flow was down to 200 cubic metres per second.
— Agencia Télam (@AgenciaTelam) March 15, 2016
— Diario Panorama (@diario_panorama) March 14, 2016
B - Aguirre
C - Mitre, Santiago del Estero Province, Argentina
Dulce River, Salavina and Aguirre in Santiago del Estero province - March 13 to March 15, 2016
Útis River, Salavina department - March 13 to March 15, 2016
Salavina and Aguirre in Santiago del Estero province