Uruguay – Flooding Uruguay River Displaces 1,700

Increasing levels of the Uruguay River and its tributaries have forced around thousands to evacuate their homes in Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil.

Uruguay

Uruguay’s National Emergency System (SINAE) reports that flooding of the Uruguay River has displaced 1,754 in the departments of Salto, Paysandú and Artigas. Some of the evacuees have been in temporary accommodation for over 1 week.

Some areas have been affected by flooding since 24 May after a storm brought heavy rain to river catchments. On May 26 evacuations were carried out in Artigas, Cerro Largo and Salto and in Paysandú two days later. By 30 May around 500 people had evacuated their homes. The number of those displaced has risen over the last 3 days after further rainfall in the Uruguay River basin.

From the total number displaced, 573 were evacuated by the authorities to temporary shelters and 1,098 were self-evacuated and are staying in private homes or self-managed camps. SINAE says that those displaced are receiving comprehensive care, including shelter, food and medical supplies.

The worst hit department is Salto, where almost 1,300 have been displaced. In Paysandú, 408 people have been displaced and 47 in Artigas.

The department of Cerro Largo has also been affected by floods. However, 45 people who were evacuated earlier in Rio Branco in Cerro Largo have since been able to return to their homes.

More heavy rain is expected early next week. With river levels already high and soil saturated, SINAE says that further evacuations are likely.

Brazil and Argentina

Parts of the neighbouring state of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil have also been affected by flooding. As of 31 May over 2,500 people had been displaced.

On 27 May evacuations were carried out in parts of Argentina as a result of flooding from the Uruguay River. According to the Telam news agency, 32 families were evacuated in Concordia and a further 17 families in Concepción del Uruguay.

Porto Maua Floods from the River Uruguay, 01 June 2017. Photo: Vilson Winkler

Rainfall and River Levels

According to figures from the Joint Technical Commission of Salto Grande, persistent rainfall has been falling in river catchments since 25 May, with many areas seeing around 20 to 30 mm each day.

Some heavier rain was recorded on 28 May, with Itá recording 56 mm and Foz do Chapecó 52 mm in 24 hours.

Joint Technical Commission of Salto Grande suggest that the heaviest daily totals were seen on 31 May, with Itá (Brazil) recording 72 mm, Foz do Chapecó (Brazil) 92 mm, El Soberbio (Argentina) 54 mm, San Javier (Uruguay) 87 mm and Santo Tomé (Argentina) 80 mm

Levels of the Uruguay River as of 01 June, 2017, according to Joint Technical Commission of Salto Grande:

  • El Soberbio, Argentina – 15.20m, up from 7.18m on 29 May
  • San Javier, Uruguay – 10.14m, up from 4.16m on 29 May
  • Garruchos, Brazil – 15.40m, up from 8.97m on 29 May
  • Santo Tomé, Argentina – 12.70m, up from 10.74m on 29 May
  • Salto Grande, Uruguay – 34.31m, down from 35.23m on 29 May
  • Concordia, Argentina – 12.98m, up from 12m on 29 May

Flood Summary

Last updated: June 7, 2017
Event
Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina, May to June 2017
Date
May 24, 2017
Type
River flood
Cause
Long-term rainfall
Parts of Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina have been affected by flooding from the Uruguay River and tributaries since late May 2017.

Locations

A - Concordia (Argentina)
B - Concepción del Uruguay (Argentina)
C - San Javier (Uruguay)
D - Salto (Uruguay)
E - Paysandú (Uruguay)
F - Bella Unión (Uruguay)
G - Itaqui

Magnitude

River level
15.20 metres
Uruguay River, El Soberbio, Argentina - June 1 to June 1, 2017
Up from 7.18m on 29 May
River level
10.14 metres
Uruguay River, San Javier, Uruguay - June 1 to June 1, 2017
River level
15.40 metres
Uruguay River, Garruchos, Brazil - June 1 to June 1, 2017
Up from 8.97m on 29 May
River level
12.70 metres
Uruguay River, Santo Tomé, Argentina - June 1 to June 1, 2017
up from 10.74m on 29 May
River level
34.31 metres
Uruguay River, Salto Grande, Uruguay - June 1 to June 1, 2017
down from 35.23m on 29 May
River level
12.98 metres
Uruguay River, Concordia, Argentina - June 1 to June 1, 2017
Up from 12m on 29 May
Rainfall level
72 mm in 24 hours
Itá, Brazil - May 30 to May 31, 2017
Rainfall level
92 mm in 24 hours
Foz do Chapecó, Brazil - May 30 to May 31, 2017
Rainfall level
54 mm in 24 hours
El Soberbio, Argentina - May 30 to May 31, 2017
Rainfall level
87 mm in 24 hours
San Javier, Uruguay - May 30 to May 31, 2017
Rainfall level
80 mm in 24 hours
Santo Tomé, Argentina - May 30 to May 31, 2017

Damages

Evacuated
3,781
Uruguay - May 24 to June 7, 2017
Salto, Paysandú, Bella Unión (Artigas) and San Javier (Río Negro)
Evacuated
2,500
Brazil - May 31 to May 31, 2017
Evacuated
400 people
Argentina - May 27 to June 1, 2017
Concordia and Concepción del Uruguay

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