Paraguay – 1000s Affected by Rising River Levels in Asunción

Authorities say around 5,000 families have been affected by flooding in the Paraguay capital Asunción after levels of the River Paraguay rose to 6.5 metres – the highest recorded so far this year.

Heavy rainfall across parts of Paraguay and neighbouring Brazil and Argentina between 08 and 10 December 2015 is likely to increase river levels further.

Elsewhere in Paraguay, a storm on 04 December 2015 has affected thousands of families in Central and Presidente Hayes Departments.

Storms and Heavy Rain in Central and Presidente Hayes Departments

Almost 3,000 families are in dire need of relief supplies after a severe storm on Friday 04 December 2015 brought torrential rain, flooding and wind damage to nine districts in Central Department and 1 district in Presidente Hayes Department.

Paraguay’s National Emergency Secretariat (SEN) are providing victims with materials to repair damaged houses, as well as some food and bedding. In a statement yesterday, SEN said that they anticipate that all the needs of the 2,941 families affected will be covered during the coming week.

Since last week, operating equipment of National Emergency Secretariat (SEN), in coordination various State institutions, continue attending 2,941 families were affected by flash flooding and damage to their homes after severe storm Friday December 4.

Floods in Asunción

Levels of the Paraguay River in Asuncion have been high for the last 2 weeks and now stand well above 6 metres. Asunción emergency department – Consejo Municipal de Emergencias y Desastres de Asunción (Comueda) say that 5,786 families are currently affected by floods.

SEN are currently assessing the situation to verify the figures. As many as 41 shelters in 10 different areas of the capital have been set up to accommodate those displaced. Many of those affected are in the city’s poorest communities of the Los Bañados area.

Paraguay River Levels

The graph below from Paraguay’s Administración Nacional De Navegación Y Puertos, shows the levels of Paraguay River in Asunción for 2015. Since November it has risen sharply. Normally around this time of year levels would be just under 3 metres.

Levels of the Paraguay River at Asuncion, 09 December 2015. Image: Administración Nacional De Navegación y Puertos
Levels of the Paraguay River at Asuncion, 09 December 2015. Image: Administración Nacional De Navegación y Puertos

Between 09 and 10 December 2015, the level of Paraguay River in Asunción rose by 20 cm and has now reached 6.50 meters and continues to rise. Critical levels are considered to be 5.5 metres.

In July 2014, levels of the Paraguay River reached over 7 metres, displacing thousands and threatening to inundate a toxic dump close to the river.

El Niño

Paraguay’s meteorological department, Dirección de Meteorología e Hidrología (DINAC), report that El Niño influenced storms and heavy rainfall during the first few days of December, particularly in the north east of the country, have increased levels in the middle and lower basin of the Paraguay River. DINAC expect that with the presence of a strong El Niño, further heavy rainfall and high river levels throughout the Paraguay basin can be expected into next year.

Rainfall

Parts of Paraguay and neighbouring Argentina and Brazil have seen heavy rainfall over the last 2 days. WMO figures for a 24 hour period between 09 and 10 December 2015 for rainfall in Paraguay.

Concepcion – 71.3 mm
Puerto Casado – 63.6 mm
Pedro Juan Caballero – 89.5 mm
Aeropuerto International Guarani – 63.6 mm

Floods regularly force residents of the Bañados to re-locate. This photo is from 2012. Photo: Juan Andrés Del Puerto González under Creative Commons
Floods regularly force residents of the Bañados to re-locate. This photo is from 2012. Photo: Juan Andrés Del Puerto González under Creative Commons

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