ASUNCION – Some 1,000 families have been displaced from their homes in Asuncion by the overflowing Paraguay River, and have begun staying in shelters or in flimsy huts of wood and sheet metal that they build themselves, the municipality reported.
The floods submerging the capital’s riverbanks began before the weekend due to the rising waters of the river, but they grew even faster following the heavy rainfall from Saturday night through Sunday morning.
That in turn increased the number of displaced persons, mostly residents of the neighborhoods known as Bañados (Wetlands) because they are located on the banks of the annually overflowing Paraguay River.
This morning the capital’s municipality continued its work of assistance and aid in moving families into some of the shelters that have been set up for the emergency.
However, many of those affected have preferred, since Sunday afternoon, to set up shaky hovels made of wood and sheet metal in Plaza de Armas in front of Congress, a usual practice during the annual flooding of the Paraguay River.
Emergency Management Director Victor Hugo Julio told EFE that there are 25 shelters prepared to receive displaced families as part of an evacuation and relocation plan undertaken by that department of the municipality.
He added that they are allowing for the possibility that this week, if the rains continue, the river will rise to 6 meters (20 feet) while the number of displaced families will be between 1,300 and 1,500.
The river level Monday in Asuncion was 5.3 meters, 10 centimeters (4 inches) more than the day before, and approaching the critical level of 5.50 meters, according to the Meteorology and Hydrology Authority.
In December 2015, the flooding in Asuncion, associated with the El Niño climate phenomenon, forced close to 100,000 people to leave their homes and move into flimsy wooden hovels on public land set aside for refuges.