|Disasters Preparedness and Mitigation - Issue No. 16 - July, 1983 (PAHO)|
Floods continued to affect several South American countries during the second quarter of this year.
In Peru, where heavy rains persisted from December into May, the situation was critical in the northern departments of Piura and rumbas. Torrential rainfall seriously set back rehabilitation efforts and bridges and roads were washed away, hampering the delivery of relief supplies. An estimated 140,000 farmers and agricultural workers were unable to work, according to an UNDRO situation report issued in late May. Reported deaths from respiratory and enteric diseases, especially in children, rose by 200 percent over the pre-flood period.
In Argentina meanwhile, over 6,000,000 hectares in the northeastern provinces of Misiones, Corrientes, Chaco, Formosa, and Entre Ríos were affected by the worst floods ever recorded in that country. Torrential rains in May caused the Paraguay and Paraná rivers-already swollen by rains that started in December-to overflow. Over 140,000 people were left homeless, although no deaths were reported.
Floods caused by the same rainfall also affected Brazil and Paraguay. In Brazil 23 persons were reported dead and 25,000 rendered homeless in the southern states of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and Paraná.
In Paraguay the population of Pilar, on the Praguay River bank, evacuated their homes as floods destroyed roads and bridges and made agricultural work impossible. Around 120,000 persons have been evacuated, according to the League of Red Cross Societies.