Thousands evacuated from homes in Uruguay after floods affect several parts of country

(14 May 2024)

Paysandú, Uruguay – 13 May 2024
1. Various aerials of Paysandú flooded ++MUTE++
2. People on a boat
3. Flooded homes
4. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) José Iturria, flooding evacuee:
"I’ve been out (of my home) for four or five days, but it hurts when you buy things and they break (because of the floods), rearrange things and buy new ones, or buy used ones cheaper and they break again. If it’s not one thing, it’s another thing that breaks. It’s money and money, and you can’t anymore. You no longer have the desire at work that you need to have. It’s tough to get back up."
5. Close of paddle
6. Flooded street
7. A flooded church
8. Young people on a boat
9. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Cesar Iturria, flooding evacuee:
"From what they say, it rained a lot in Brazil. All that water comes here, to the Uruguay River, it’s practically the same area, right? We know we will overcome. Fifty-four years, a whole life here in the river, and we know what will always happen when the river rises, that the water has no limit, that you can’t stop it. Fifty-four years living here, and I must had 60 floodings."
10. A man walking on a flooded street
11. A man on a boat
12. Flooded homes
13. Aerials of flooded Paysandú, overlooking the Uruguay River ++MUTE++

Floods affected several parts of Uruguay on Monday, where high water levels have left 3,034 people displaced from their homes, 598 evacuated, and 2,436 self-evacuated, according to the National Emergency System (Sinae).

The most affected areas in the country are the towns of Paysandú and Salto, both bordering Argentina; Cerro Largo, on the border with Brazil; Treinta y Tres, Durazno, Artigas, Tacuarembó, Rocha, and Soriano, separated from Argentina by the Uruguay River.

Flooding evacuee, Cesar Iturria said he’d lived in the city of Paysandú for fifty-four years and had experienced up to 60 floods during that time.

"We know we will overcome," he said.

Despite the evacuations and reports of power outages in some parts, Uruguayan authorities stated that “the situation remains under control in the departments affected by the floods”.

The floods that occurred in southern Brazil a week ago impacted the level of the Uruguay River, flooding the Argentine town 430 kilometers north of Buenos Aires.

At least 136 people died in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, and 125 more are missing.

The number of people displaced from their homes due to torrential downpours has exceeded 400,000, of which 70,000 are taking refuge in gymnasiums, schools, and other temporary shelters.

AP Video by Diego Casal


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