Uruguay – Evacuations in Artigas After River Overflows

Around 1,700 people evacuated their homes in the city of Artigas, Uruguay, after the Quaraí river overflowed last week.

Heavy rain fell in the departments of Rivera and Artigas between 09 and 10 April. Instituto Uruguayo de Meteorología (INUMET) recorded 225 mm of rain in 24 hours in Rivera. Over 150 mm of rain was recorded in at least 9 locations across the two departments during the same period. INUMET said that many areas recorded more rain in 24 hours than would normally be seen for the whole of April.

By 13 April, levels of the Quaraí river had reached 8.8 metres, according to official figures. Uruguay’s National Emergencies System (SINAE) say that local measurements suggest the river reached a maximum 12.85 meters.

As of 13 April, 2017, the total number of people displaced in that department stood at 1,675. Of this total, 645 were evacuated and 1,030 self-evacuated. Those evacuated people were temporarily housed in 16 shelters where they received comprehensive care and provisions, according to SINAE.

No injuries or fatalities were reported. By 17 April almost all of the displaced had been able to return home. However, at least 40 people remain homeless after their houses were damaged by the flooding and are now uninhabitable.