Uruguay – Floods in Montevideo After 150mm of Rain in 1 Hour

Residents evacuated their homes and cars were swept along city streets in Montevideo, capital of Uruguay, after torrential rain caused flash floods on 17 January 2022.

Flood rescue Uruguay January 2022. Photo: Uruguay Ministerio del Interior

Interim mayor of Montevideo, Federico Graña, said the flooding was the result of “an extraordinary meteorological event” with between 90 and 150 mm of rain falling in just 1 hour early on 17 January. The city’s average monthly rainfall for January is 92 mm.

The heavy rain was accompanied by strong winds which downed trees and power lines, leaving 20,000 without electricity across the region. Traffic and public transport were severely disrupted. The neighbourhoods of Malvín, Carrasco, Buceo, Punta Gorda and Punta de Rieles were particularly badly affected. Areas of the department of Canelones were also affected.

Uruguay’s Ministry of Interior reported 164 people had evacuated their homes. Firefighters attended 248 interventions across affected areas, including 67 incidents of fallen trees and 9 downed power poles.

The storms and heavy rain follow a period of extreme high temperatures in the country. The country’s meteorological agency Instituto Uruguayo de Meteorología (INUMET) reported temperatures of 44°C in Florida on 14 January, thought to be an all-time high.

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