South America – Thousands Affected by Floods and Landslides in Paraguay, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia

Heavy rain has triggered flooding and landslides in parts of South America over the last few days.

Around 70,000 people are currently affected by floods in several departments of Paraguay. Flooding and landslides in Peru have damaged or destroyed dozens of homes and prompted evacuations in the regions of Ancash, Amazonas and Cusco.

In Ecuador, flooding in Los Ríos Province has prompted authorities to declare a state of emergency in several cantons, while in Bolivia, over 2,000 hectares of crops and 109 homes have been destroyed by flooding from the overflowing Parapetí River in Santa Cruz Department.

Floods in Paraguay, March 2019. Photo: Government of Paraguay


Heavy rain and flooding has affected thousands of people in Paraguay over the last 2 weeks. As of 15 March, the worst affected areas were in the departments of Presidente Hayes, Concepción and Guairá.

Since then flooding has been reported in Alto Paraguay Department, with the districts of Fuerte Olimpo, Bahía Negra, Carmelo Peralta, Puerto Casado, and Puerto Guaran declaring a state of emergency. Elsewhere, flooding along the Pilcomayo River has affected areas of Boquerón department.

As of 25 March, Paraguay’s National Emergency Secretariat (SEN), reported that the total number of families affected by the recent had increased from around 7,000 to 12,634 families. Of these, 8,495 were assisted by the National Government and received food and other basic supplies. Flooding has also been reported in areas of Paraguarí, Cordillera, Amambay, Central, San Pedro and Alto Paraná departments.


Intense rainfall on 27 March, 2019, caused landslides and flash flooding in the town of Angascancha, Pomabamba Province, Ancash Region. Local emergency management authorities said that around 20 houses were damaged and 40 people evacuated.

Elsewhere in the country, flooding from the overflowing Maranon river that began around 25 March has destroyed 25 houses in the district of Cumba in the province of Utcubamba, Amazonas Region, according to Peru’s National Institute of Civil Defense (Indeci). Twenty-five families have been evacuated and a further 15 families affected. Flooding also destroyed 67 hectares of crops in the area.

A few days earlier, heavy rain caused mudslides in the town of Tahuantinsuyo Lobo, Kimbiri District, La Convención Province, Cusco Region on 19 March, 2019. The mudslides affected 115 people and destroyed 31 homes. Three people were injured.

Wide areas of the country were affected by flooding and landslides in early February 2019 and then again in late February.


A state of emergency has been declared for the cantons of Pueblo Viejo, Babahoyo and Vinces in Los Ríos Province, Ecuador, after flooding and heavy rain that began around 23 March, 2019. Around 250 people have been displaced and 13 homes destroyed. In total over 8,000 people have been affected.

Parts of Los Rios province were affected by floods during late February this year.


Disaster management authorities in Bolivia said that, as of 25 March, 2019, over 1,700 families had been affected by the flooding from the Parapetí River in the municipality of Charagua, Cordillera province, Santa Cruz Department. Over 2,000 hectares of crops and 109 homes have been destroyed in the floods.

Earlier this month Civil Defence authorities in Bolivia report that 30 people have died in floods and landslides during the current rainy season in the country and a further 27 were missing.

Many of the fatalities occurred in Caranavi Province, La Paz Department, after landslides and flooding in early February, 2019.


On 26 March 2019, the Colombia National Disaster Risk Management Unit (UNGRD), indicated that so far this rainy season as many as 1,514 families have been affected, 5 people have died and 17 people suffered injuries in 15 departments and 65 municipalities due to floods.

The worst affected departments were: Cundinamarca, Cauca, Tolima, Santander, Caldas, Cesar, Nariño, Chocó, Risaralda, Antioquia, Boyacá, Valle del Cauca, Magdalena, Guainía, and Norte de Santander.