Paraguay – Thousands Affected by Flooding in Presidente Hayes, Concepción and Guairá

Heavy rain and flooding have affected thousands of people in Paraguay since 15 March, 2019. The worst affected areas are in the departments of Presidente Hayes, Concepción and Guairá.

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

The country’s emergency agency, Secretaría de Emergencia Nacional (SEN), said that the government had assisted around 3,800 families.

More than 3,000 families have been affected by flooding and rains in Villa Hayes and Benjamín Aceval in Presidente Hayes department. SEN said that 2,376 families required assistance.

Elsewhere, flooding has cut off some communities (around 1,100 families) in Concepción after the Aquidabán River broke its banks. Among the worst hit areas in the department are Paso Barreto, San Carlos del Apa and Sargento José Félix López. Relief supplies are being airlifted to the affected communities. SEN said that the area received 250mm of rainfall from 15 to 18 March.

In Mauricio José Troche, a district in the Guairá department, the Tebicuary river overflowed from around 17 March, affecting around 2,000 families.

Severe weather warnings including further heavy rain have been issued for Presidente Hayes, Boquerón, Alto Paraguay, Concepción, Amambay and San Pedro departments by Paraguay’s meteorological agency, Dirección de Meteorología e Hidrología (DMH).

Weather warnings in Paraguay, 20 March 2019. Image: DMH Paraguay

Paraguay River Levels Increase

SEN also warned that the recent heavy rain had increased levels of the Paraguay River, which would remain high for some time in the future.

In the last few days the river in Asunción had jumped 1 metre to 3.75 metres. SEN warned that this would steadily increase to 4.2 to 4.3 metres in the first half of April. Warning level is around 4.5 metres.

In Concepción the Paraguay River is expected to reach 5.5 metres during April.

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