El Nino floods hit South America

Five people die, 150,000 people evacuated in South American countries hit by floods from powerful El Nino

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Locals set up sand barrages in a flooded neighbourhood in Asuncion, Paraguay, December 24, 2015

Updated Dec 26, 2015

Five people died and almost 150,000 people were evacuated in Paraguay, Argentina and Uruguay on Thursday as El Nino floods swept through South America.

Some 130,000 people have been displaced across Paraguay.

A state of emergency has been declared in the country to bring forth $3.5 million in disaster funds.

Four people died when trees fell on their vehicles.

The National Emergency Secretariat reported a dozen other similar incidents in the capital Asuncion.

125,000 homes were without power around the capital and 17 power distribution centres were knocked over across the country.

At the same time, Colombia has been suffering from a drought that officials fear will empty reservoirs which are used for generating electricity.

Experts say both calamities  caused by this year's powerful El Nino weather phenomenon.

In Argentina, a 13 year old boy was electrocuted by a power cable while he was trying to evaluate the damage done to his home by the storm. 

At least 10,000 people were evacuated in the Entre Rios province as the banks of Uruguay River burst.

"This is the worst flooding in 50 years," Enrique Crest, Mayor of Concordia, the worst affected city in the province, said.

He added that although "flooding was predicted due to El Nino, no one thought that it would be so substantial."

Argentina has also declared a state of emergency for the Panama, Uruguay and Paraguay rivers and their tributaries, following exceptionally high rainfall.

Uruguay also declared a state of emergency in three northern departments on Wednesday.

Almost 5,500 people have been displaced there as of Thursday.

TRTWorld and agencies