Paraguay – Severe Floods Hit Central and Southern Areas

Media in Paraguay, quoting the country’s National Emergency Secretariat (SEN), report that 10 people have died in floods and landslides triggered by heavy rain over the last few days.

Heavy rain has been falling for several days. Dirección de Meteorología e Hidrología (DMH) said some central areas saw 500mm more than normal during January.

Rainfall totals and anomalies in Paraguay, January 2021. Image: DMH Paraguay

Heavy rain intensified during storms that struck from 31 January, 2021. DMH reported 144mm of rain in 24 hours to 01 February in Luque city in Central Department. In the following 24 hour period 173.8mm of rain fell in Paraguari, Paraguarí Department, and 100.2mm in Oviedo, capital of the Caaguazú Department. Strong winds were also reported, in particular in Canindeyú department where speeds reached 140 km/h.

SEN said they were assisting flood victims in Yaguarón, Paraguarí Department and Caacupé in Cordillera Departments. Severe flooding was also reported in Tobatí and Piribebuy, Cordillera Department.

Weather-related fatalities were reported in Central Department (5), Itapúa Department (1) and Asunción Metropolitan area, where 3 people died when a building collapsed and another was struck by lightning.

The level of the Paraguay River Asunción has risen 1.98 metres over the last 7 days. As of 02 February the river stood at 3.73 metres, prompting city authorities to evacuate residents living in areas along the river in Bañado Sur.

The evacuation of homes in Bañado Sur and Bañado Norte is a regular occurrence. The city government says further relocations may be necessary as the Paraguay River is expected to be above 4.50 metres by late February, which is likely to affect around 2,500 families in these area.

Teams from SEN assessing flood damage in Cordillera Department, Paraguay, 02 February 2021. Photo: SEN

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