Uruguay – Thousands Evacuate After Heavy Rain and Floods

Thousands of people have evacuated their homes in Uruguay after a period of heavy rain caused flooding in several departments.

Floods Uruguay June 2019. Photo: SINAE

The country’s National Emergency System (Sinae) in Uruguay reported that, as of 18 June, at least 5,400 people had been evacuated. The departments of Florida and Durazno are the worst affected. Over 3,000 of those displaced are in the city of Durazno, where the overflowing Yi River has caused severe flooding.

Flooding has blocked vital roads in at least 12 locations across affected areas. Around 1,000 people have been evacuated in the department of Florida. Almost 500 were evacuated in Canelones Department, and over 200 in each of San Jose, Soriano and Treinta y Tres Departments. Areas of Flores and Rio Negro Departments were also affected.

Uruguay’s Institute of Meteorology (Instituto Uruguayo de Meteorología – INUMET) said that between 11 and 18 June, at least 10 locations recorded more than 310 mm of rain.

Rainfall in Uruguay from 11 to 18 June, 2019. Image: INUMET
Rainfall figures for Uruguay from 11 to 18 June, 2019. Image: INUMET

INUMET figures show that in 24 hours to 16 June, Goñi in Florida Department recorded 193mm of rain and Rossell y Rius, Durazno Department 180 mm.

Further heavy rain has fallen since. According to WMO figures, Durazno city recorded 96.9 mm of rain in 24 hours to 17 June, 2019. Paso de los Toros in Tacuarembó Department (about 60km north of Durazno) recorded 200mm and the city of Florida recorded 77mm during the same period.

Neighbouring parts of Argentina have also seen heavy rain over the last few days.