BUENOS AIRES – Some 150,000 people have been displaced from their homes due to serious flooding registered in parts of Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay because of heavy rains and the rise of local rivers.
Paraguay is the country most affected by the flooding with some 100,000 people displaced from their homes in Asuncion alone, according to municipal officials.
The Paraguay River level on Monday stood at 7.84 meters (25.7 feet) in Asuncion and may reach 8 meters (26.2 feet) in the coming days before receding, SEN emergency management agency operations chief Daniel Riveros told EFE.
Rising river waters are also affecting the southern province of Ñeembucu, where there are some 10,000 people who have been evacuated since the Parana River began rising six weeks ago.
The government on Saturday recommended that 7,000 residents of the city of Alberdi evacuate since the Paraguay River was threatening to overflow the local dike, but the majority of them refused to leave.
In Argentina, the city of Concordia in Entre Rios province has remained partially inundated for four days after the Uruguay River rose to exceed a level of 16 meters (52.5 feet), a height that it has not attained since 1959.
The waters have stopped rising in Argentina, however, and favorable weather is forecast for the coming days.
The forecast issued by the CIIFEN international center for research on El Niño say that heavier-than-normal rains will fall until late January in the Southern Cone.
The 2015-2016 El Niño is one of the strongest in the last 50 years, according to CIIFEN, based in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
In Uruguay, the flooding has prompted 16,311 people to leave their homes.
Rising river waters have begun to stabilize in southern Brazil, although 1,964 families have been evacuated in about 40 towns along the Uruguay and Guaiba Rivers.