500 Families Displaced in Asunción, Paraguay

Floods in Paraguay during the last three days have displaced over 500 households and caused one fatality.

Paraguay has seen heavy rainfall earlier this week, with 222mm (8.75”) reported in the 24 hour period measured between 25 and 26 February. It was reported on Wednesday that one person had been killed and several houses damaged by flooding, with power to about 18,000 users.

Joaquín Roa, Paraguay’s Minister of National Emergency Secretariat, reported on Tuesday that 579 families have so far been affected by recent floods, totalling 2,895 people (this figure had risen to 737 families by late Wednesday).

The worst affected areas are Luque, Mariano Roque Alonso and Lambaré in the greater Asuncion metropolitan area. Aid has been sent to these areas in the form of mattresses, blankets, tents, food and water, the Minister said.

Three shelters, two in Luque and one at Villa San Pedro, are accommodating 130 families, with another 10 in a shelter next to Luque Regional Hospital and 41 families at a shelter at the Friendship Village in Mariano Roque Alonso. In addition, two indigenous communities in Tarmumandy Luque are receiving support and assistance.

The Armed Forces have been brought in to assist with providing heating and distributing food in the temporary shelters.

Rescue teams have been working around the clock to help flood victims. The photo below was taken in the early hours of 27 February 2014, in Luque, part of the Gran Asunción metropolitan area, to the east of the city of Asunción.

rescue teams in luque paraguay floods
Photo: twitter.com/pajaro_luque

In Mariano Roque Alonso several streets are flooded and people are using canoes as an alternative means of transport. Flooding has been worsened by the lack of storm drains and blocked sewers.
The Mayor of Luque, Cesar Meza Bría, who visited 70 affected families from Villa San Pedro and San José de Luque, said that there is a need to acquire alternative land for the families to live on, as the Villa San Pedro property belongs to the state water utility Essap and is unsuitable for development.

Paraguay’s wettest month is December and it has been badly affected by flooding in other months in previous years.

Conditions were expected to improve by late on Thursday 27 February.

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Sources: EA