Hundreds Evacuated As French Villages Dig Out From Flooding

Men stand on a slab of retaining wall concrete at the edge of the River Roya after heavy rains and floods hit Breil-sur-Roya, a French village close to the Italian border, where houses were buried in mud and turned-over cars were stuck in the riverbed on October 5, 2020. (Photo by Valery HACHE / AFP)

 

Rescue workers evacuated hundreds of people Monday from villages hammered by flash flooding in southeast France over the weekend, with the death toll expected to rise as searches continue for survivors.

Two people died after storms dumped huge amounts of rain that turned streams into churning torrents that swept away cars, houses and bridges in the French Alps north of Nice.

But the authorities said eight people had disappeared, in many cases after witnesses reported seeing them carried away by the floodwaters, while 13 others have not been heard from since Friday.

Italian authorities also said two people died, including a volunteer firefighter on a rescue operation Saturday.

Meteorologist Luca Mercalli told the Fatto Quotidiano daily Monday that in Limone Piemonte and the Roya Valley “some 600 millimetres of rain fell in fewer than 24 hours. Half the annual average rainfall in just one day.”

“I’ve lost everything. My house, 25 metres long (80 feet), was engulfed by the Vesubie river,” said Alain Brucy, 63, as trucks carrying water, baby food, toilet paper and other essentials arrived in Roquebilliere, a French village near the Italian border.

“The priority is to evacuate those who want to leave this war zone they’ve been living in for the past two days,” the government’s top regional official, Bernard Gonzalez, told AFP, saying some areas looked as if they had been “bombarded.”

Around 400 people have been evacuated by helicopter so far, he said.

Gonzalez also said four bodies found on a beach in Liguria, Italy, on Sunday most likely came from cemeteries swept away when rivers overran their banks.

“These are not recent deaths… but old corpses,” he said.

Officials have declared the region a natural disaster zone, and President Emmanuel Macron is expected to tour the area this week.

– ‘Doing what they can’ –

Electricity and phone service remains down across much of the region, and officials have closed off access to hikers and climbers so that mountain rescue teams can focus on the search for victims.

In the hard-hit Roya valley, several villages remained completely cut off after roads collapsed or were torn up by the floods, or were blocked by fallen trees or rocks and other debris.

Scores of tractors have been deployed to help the villages dig out, including several brought in by French army regiments.

“They’ve been at it since this morning, and they’re doing what they can but you see that ladder over there — that’s where the bridge was washed away,” said Josiane Osanga, 78, in the village of Breil-sur-Roya.

Nearby, residents used a bow and arrow to construct a makeshift zipline for sending over medicine and other items to houses trapped on the far side of the river.

Emergency generators are also being deployed “so we can end this isolation that is very difficult to bear and that makes it much harder to organise the necessary help,” said Philippe Pradal, president of the Nice metropolitan area.

Officials were also transferring nursing home residents and hospital patients from several villages and towns.

“In Fontan, they found a generator and everyone is sharing their food” until new supplies can be brought in, said Alexandra Valetta-Ardisson, a local lawmaker.

AFP

Apple Chief Says Fires And Storms Show Impact Of Climate Change

A handout still image from the keynote video released by Apple inc. shows Apple CEO Tim Cook kicks off a special event at Apple Park in Cupertino, California, on September 15, 2020. – Apple on September 15, 2020 said it is packing TV, music, news and more in a subscription bundle as it increases its push into services tied to its iPhone “ecosystem. (Photo by Handout / Apple Inc. / AFP)

 

Apple chief Tim Cook said Monday he views the recent increase in fires, hurricanes and floods as strong proof that climate change is real.

The disasters should sway those denying science that shows greenhouse gases are dangerously changing weather patterns, Cook said in a talk streamed during an online event by The Atlantic magazine.

Cook reasoned that wildfires raging on the US West Coast, hurricanes slamming the South, and flooding in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions make a compelling case for climate change.

“All of these together, I do believe will convince the people that are not currently convinced about climate change,” Cook said.

His remote interview with Atlantic editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg was recorded last week, when smoke from wildfires turned day to night in California and ash fell like snow in some places.

“It’s horrendous,” Cook said.

“It’s a reminder of how serious climate change is and what’s at stake.”

Cook declined to answer whether he had any luck convincing US President Donald Trump that climate change is real during any of their conversations, saying those exchanges were private.

“I don’t want to talk about it in detail, but if you sort of back up from it, my whole philosophy is engagement,” Cook said.

“I think it’s even more important to engage when you disagree on something.”

Trump suggested global warming will reverse itself and dismissed climate change as a cause of ferocious fires engulfing swathes of the West Coast during a briefing with local officials in California last week.

The president, who flew into Sacramento in central California during a reelection campaign swing, pushed back against state leaders who said that climate change underlies the ever-stronger blazes.

On arrival in McClellan Park, near Sacramento, Trump repeated his argument that the wildfires are due instead to insufficient maintenance of forest areas to make them less combustible.

But at the briefing, California governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, countered that the fires are driven mostly by global warming.

“It will start getting cooler. You just watch,” Trump insisted to Wade Crowfoot, the head of the California Natural Resources Agency.

The official responded: “I wish science agreed with you.”

“I don’t think science knows, actually,” Trump said.

It was Trump’s first visit to California since the devastating blazes began there and in the states of Washington and Oregon.

Democratic challenger Joe Biden has branded Trump a “climate arsonist” whose policies contribute to natural disasters.

– Microscope merited –

The Apple chief also said he hoped his testimony in July to a House of Representatives panel investigating market dominance put to rest worries that the iPhone maker wields monopoly power of any sort.

Big Tech executives faced an onslaught of criticism from US lawmakers at the high-stakes antitrust hearing, which could lay the groundwork for tougher regulation of the major internet platforms.

CEOs Cook, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Sundar Pichai of Google were grilled for more than five hours in the unprecedented joint appearance — by video.

“I have no issue at all in Apple being put underneath the microscope,” Cook said.

“My hope is that as people heard our story and as they continue to hear our story, that it will become as apparent to them as it is to us that we have no monopoly.”

Cook diplomatically responded when asked his thoughts on the response to Covid-19, saying the virus “took the world by surprise” and recounting Apple efforts to help with masks and more.

He said that some 85 percent of Apple employees are working remotely due to the pandemic, and it remained unclear when they would be able to return to company headquarters in Cupertino, California.

AFP

PHOTOS: Flooding Ravages Abuja Community

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television
Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

 

On August 26, torrential rainfall hit Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja, leading to flooding.

At least one person died after trying to cross through a flooded section of the community, according to the FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The Director-General of FEMA, Idriss Abbas, has lamented that most deaths recorded in the past from flooding the FCT were as a result of non-compliance to instructions from authorities.

Below are pictures from the flooding’s aftermath.

Note: All pictures were taken by Sodiq Adelakun for Channels Television.

 

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

Trademoore Estate, Lugbe, Abuja was flooded after a torrential rainfall on August 26, 2020. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels Television

 

 

China Floods Force Hundreds Of Thousands Out Of Homes

This aerial photo was taken on August 18, 2020, shows the Leshan Giant Buddha surrounded by floodwaters following heavy rains in Leshan in China’s southwestern Sichuan province. STR / AFP

 

 

Floods in mountainous southwest China have washed away roads and forced tens of thousands from their homes, with authorities warning Wednesday the giant Three Gorges Dam was facing the largest flood peak in its history.

Footage on state broadcaster CCTV showed murky water lapping at the feet of the Leshan Giant Buddha — a 71m-tall figure carved into a cliffside in Sichuan province.

CCTV said floods had not reached the Buddha’s feet since the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949.

 

This aerial photo was taken on August 18, 2020, shows the Leshan Giant Buddha surrounded by floodwaters following heavy rains in Leshan in China’s southwestern Sichuan province.  STR / AFP

 

 

The rising tide washed over rows of sandbags installed to protect the statue — a UNESCO world heritage site and popular tourist destination that overlooks three converging rivers.

Video footage showed soldiers evacuating residents wearing lifejackets — many of them elderly — from Fengzhou county opposite the statue, helping them climb into a boat.

Around 1,020 people had been stranded in Fengzhou, suffering food and water shortages after floodwaters cut off road traffic, state news agency Xinhua said.

More than 100,000 people have been evacuated as the cities of Ya’an and Leshan were hit by floods, it added.

State media footage also showed tree trunks and lower branches submerged in water, and in one dramatic shot, a small building collapsed into rushing floodwaters and was carried away.

Another UNESCO world heritage site, the Jiuzhaigou National Park, said it would temporarily close due to safety concerns.

Elsewhere in Sichuan, 21 vehicles fell into a large hole caused by a collapsed road early on Wednesday, although the state-run Global Times said there were no injuries.

Xinhua said floodwaters were expected to hit the downstream metropolis of Chongqing later this week.

AFP

Flooding Kills 10 In Niger State

A map showing Niger state.
A map showing Niger state.

 

Ten persons have been killed by flood in the Suleja local government area of Niger State on Saturday.

Director-General of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mr Ahmed Inga confirmed the incident to Channels Television via a telephone conversation.

Inga said the rain, which began at about 4:00am, lasted till 8:00am.

According to him, six persons died at Unguwan Gwari, three at the back of a Living Faith Church branch in Madalla and one died at the Polosa area.

The SEMA chief added that bodies of the ten persons have been recovered during a search operation conducted by staff of NSEMA with the support of some residents in the area.

In a related development, at least five persons have been killed in a boat mishap which occurred at Gurmana village in Shiroro local government area.

Mr Inga who confirmed the incident to Channels Television did not give further details on the incident but said bodies of the victims were yet to be recovered.

He also said the canoe reported to be carrying the people has still not been sighted.

More Than 200,000 Affected By Congo Floods

A road surface swept away by a landslide caused by torrential overnight rains is photographed in the Lemba district of Kinshasa, on November 26, 2019.

 

More than 200,000 people have been affected by floods that have ravaged Republic of Congo since last year, authorities said Saturday.

The government has issued an urgent international appeal after the flooding along the Congo and Ubangi rivers in the country’s north, inundating communities and washing away homes and cattle.

President Denis Sassou Nguesso has blamed the weather disaster on “climate disruption” and declared “a state of natural disaster and humanitarian emergency”.

On Saturday the government appealed for further help as the number of people affected by the heavy flooding jumped to 213,000 from an earlier estimate of 170,000.

“The challenges are enormous and we are working to provide an effective response. We hope our partners will help us,” Christian Aboke-Ndza, cabinet director at the ministry of humanitarian affairs told AFP.

Dozens of people were killed after the floods hit in late 2019, while diseases linked to the flooding have also emerged in some badly-hit areas of the country, also known as Congo-Brazzaville.

The UN has said more than $30.5 million (27.6 million euros) is needed to address the crisis.

Some $7 million has been secured, said Cyr Modeste Kouame from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Several hundred tonnes of food aid have been distributed by the World Food Programme (WFP) in the area along with cash transfers worth around 300,000 euros ($330,000).

But some warned it was not enough.

“Unfortunately, we see today that these efforts are not sufficient,” WFP’s Congo Brazzaville director Jean-Martin Bauer said.

“The scale and severity of the crisis and its duration over time have been underestimated.”

 

AFP

Congo Appeals For Help After 150,000 Hit By Floods

More than 40 people have died since October in the Republic of Congo, with torrential rains causing landslides and leading to rivers bursting their banks.

 

The Republic of Congo on Tuesday appealed for help after 150,000 people in the north of the country were hit by rains that flooded homes, destroyed fields and swept away cattle.

President Denis Sassou Nguesso issued an “urgent appeal to the international community” to help provide “a more effective response to the humanitarian situation which has arisen”.

Sassou Nguesso, who made the call in his annual state-of-the-nation speech to parliament, blamed “climatic disruption” for the disaster.

He expressed solidarity with the populations hit by flooding and landslides, blaming “climatic disturbances which, more than ever, represent a real planetary challenge”.

More than 40 people have died since October, with torrential rains causing landslides and leading to rivers bursting their banks.

While seeking international aid, Sassou Nguesso assured his government would take all possible measures to assist those affected.

The flooding has badly affected people living on the banks of the Congo and one of its tributaries, the Ubangi.

The European Union (EU) on Monday announced humanitarian aid of one million euros ($1.12 million), which will be shared with the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which has also been hit.

Last month, the president decreed “a state of natural disaster and humanitarian emergency” due to flooding which is hitting farms and leading to an increase in some diseases.

 

AFP

Italy’s Venice Braces For More Flooding

People walk in the flooded street near Rialto bridge, on November 15, 2019 in Venice, two days after the city suffered its highest tide in 50 years. Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP
People walk in the flooded street near Rialto bridge, on November 15, 2019 in Venice, two days after the city suffered its highest tide in 50 years. Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

 

Venice was on red alert for more floods and fierce winds on Saturday after an exceptionally high tide swamped the city of canals, where authorities have declared a state of emergency.

Mayor Luigi Brugnaro ordered the iconic St Mark’s Square closed on Friday as the latest sea surge struck with strong storms and winds battering the region.

It reached a high of 1.54 metres (five feet) just before midday — lower than Tuesday’s peak but still dangerous.

“I’m forced to close the square to avoid health risks for citizens… a disaster,” Brugnaro said.

In the afternoon the square reopened as water levels receded.

But civil protection authorities issued a weather “red alert” for the Venice region on Saturday, warning of violent winds.

Churches, shops and homes in the UNESCO city have been inundated by unusually intense “acqua alta”, or high water, which on Tuesday hit their highest level in half a century.

“We’ve destroyed Venice, we’re talking about one billion (euros) in damage and that’s just from the other day, not today,” Brugnaro said.

The crisis has prompted the government to release 20 million euros ($22 million) in funds to tackle the devastation.

“It’s shocking to see this, having water up to your knees,” Mexican tourist Oscar Calzada, 19, told AFP Friday.

Surveying the damage, Culture Minister Dario Franceschini warned the task of repairing the city would be huge. More than 50 churches had suffered damage, he said.

“Seeing these places first-hand gives the sense of a much greater disaster than TV images show,” Franceschini said.

Hotel reservations cancelled

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte declared a state of emergency for the city on Thursday.

Residents whose houses have been hit are eligible for up to 5,000 euros in immediate government aid, while restaurant and shop owners can receive up to 20,000 euros and apply for more later.

Mayor Brugnaro on Friday also announced the opening of a fund where people in Italy and around the world could contribute to the historic city’s repair.

One tourist, Italian Nicole Righetti, said she would be willing to pitch in.

“It would be a shame to no longer be able to see these places, and I think everyone should give,” Righettii said.

Some Venetians, used to the inconvenience of their city’s rising waters, nevertheless expressed frustration.

“All the stock in the basement is lost,” lamented Luciano, a worker at a shop along St. Mark’s Square.

He said he remembered well the infamous “acqua alta” of 1966, when the water rose to a level of 1.94 metres, the highest-ever since records began in 1923.

“These so frequent high waters have never happened before… this time there’s so much more damage than in the past,” he said.

Hotels reported cancelled reservations, some as far ahead as December, following the widespread diffusion of images of Venice underwater.

Climate change warning

Tuesday’s high waters submerged around 80 percent of the city, officials said.

Many, including Venice’s mayor, have blamed the disaster on global warming and warned that the country prone to natural disasters must wake up to the risks posed by ever more volatile seasons.

The Serenissima, as the floating city is called, is home to 50,000 residents but receives 36 million global visitors each year.

A massive infrastructure project called MOSE has been under way since 2003 to protect the city, but it has been plagued by cost overruns, corruption scandals and delays.

 

AFP

Floods: NIHSA Blames State Govts, Developers For Ignoring Warnings

Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) on Monday blamed state governments, estate developers and other individuals for floods which have recently plagued different parts of the country.

Director-General of the agency, Clement Nze, in an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said state governments and agencies have repeatedly failed to set up measures but only resort to ‘fire brigade approach’ when flooding eventually occurs.

READ ALSO: Ondo Varsity Final-Year Student Swept Away By Flood

“The response to our predictions in terms of taking precautionary measures have not been quite pleasant. It is only when the disaster has occurred that people will now be taking the fire brigade approach.

“State governments, individuals, estate developers have not taken heed to our predictions. If they have done so we won’t be witnessing what is happening today. Response to our predictions are not encouraging,” he lamented.

NIHASA DG, Clement Nze

 

When questioned on roles played by the NIHSA to curb flooding following their predictions, Nze said the role of his agency is to merely advise and not enforce.

He added that ministries involved in enforcing measures that can prevent flooding are however engaged when flood alerts are issued.

“Whatever we do, we bring in different authorities that are in charge of enforcement. Ministry of urban planning, regional planning, environment, and others, are pre-informed.

“It is their role to implement. We are not an enforcement agency.”

Nze also blamed flooding on poor urban planning, and lack of drainages.

He warned that states located within the coastal region need to put up extra measures to prevent flooding concluding that “Coastal flooding will occur from time to time in places like Lagos, Ondo, and Bayelsa.

NIHSA earlier this year issued flood alert warning Nigerians of imminent increased flooding.

The hydrological agency predicted that no fewer than 74 Local Government Areas (LGA) in 30 states in Nigeria would experience severe flooding in June, July, August, and September.

They also warned that 279 local government areas would experience minimum flooding across the country in the period.

Nigeria To Witness More Flooding Next Month – NIHSA

File photo of flood in Kabayi community in Aso Pada district of Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.

 

Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) has issued a fresh alert warning Nigerians of imminent increased flooding, next month.

Director-General NIHSA, Clement Nze, issued the warning on Wednesday during a press briefing in Abuja.

READ ALSO: Tardigrades, Earth’s Toughest Creatures, May Be Alive On The Moon

The agency also accused state governments of failing to heed its previous warnings on floods released earlier this year.

They, however, urged state governments to pull down structures built on flood plains.

NIHSA is the agency responsible for issuing flood alerts in Nigeria.

The alert issued by NIHSA comes a day after the management of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) issued a notice for students to vacate the campus after a flood disaster killed four students on campus.

A pedestrian bridge which collapsed on Monday midnight killed four of the students of the institution and left many others injured.

12 Killed As Flooding Paralyses Pakistan’s Karachi

Pakistani residents wade through flood waters after heavy monsoon rains in Hyderabad on July 31, 2019, some 160km east of the southern port city of Karachi. AKRAM SHAHID / AFP

 

At least 12 people were killed as monsoon rains lashed Pakistan’s port city of Karachi, officials and charity groups confirmed Wednesday, while flooding also triggered power outages and overwhelmed the metropolis’s fragile infrastructure.

Authorities said the deaths occurred largely due to electrocutions caused by ill-maintained power lines even as large segments of the city suffered hours-long outages that lasted up to a day in some areas.

According to the Edhi Foundation – which oversees a vast rescue services operation in Karachi — up to 15 people were killed during the recent bout of flooding.

However, government hospitals in the city said only 12 people had died in recent days in flood-related incidents.

Outrage simmered in the city after a video went viral on social media showing two children who had been allegedly electrocuted by a power line that had fallen into a puddle.

“The electricity company must be held responsible for the children’s death as safety and security is its responsibility,” said Faisal Edhi, who heads the Edhi Foundation.

Dr Seemi Jamali — director of the state-run Jinnah Postgraduate Medical University — confirmed that nine people were “brought dead” to the hospital because of electrocutions.

Another three bodies, including the children from the video shared online, were taken to the city’s Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, a doctor on duty at the facility confirmed to AFP.

The megacity of some 20 million has been inundated with heavy rains since Monday, flooding residential areas and bringing large swathes of Karachi’s perennially traffic-congested streets to a halt.

“We are living without electricity and water for the past three days and no official rescue came,” said 24-year-old resident Qaiser Khan.

Hundreds have been killed across South Asia this monsoon season and tens of thousands displaced by the heavy rains.

While the annual rains are crucial to replenishing water supplies in the impoverished region, they often turn deadly.

70,000 Families Displaced In Paraguay Flooding

View of a flooded area in town of Puerto Falcon, near Asuncion, on May 25, 2019, after heavy rains in the past weeks caused the overflowing of the Paraguay River.  Norberto DUARTE / AFP

 

Heavy flooding in Paraguay has displaced 70,000 families and is threatening to further inundate the capital Asuncion in the coming weeks, the country’s weather bureau said.

Water levels on the Paraguay River are rising at a rate of 4-5 centimetres (1.5-2 inches) every day and is only 46 cm (18 in) below a “disaster” level, according to official data from the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology (DMH).

Crossing that threshold would “have a very strong impact” because of the number of Asuncion residents who have moved into the city’s floodplain, said DMH deputy director Nelson Perez on Sunday.

The city’s water service infrastructure was clogged with garbage which was exacerbating the floods, Perez added.

Unusually heavy downpours over May, including two days which together exceeded Asuncion’s average monthly rainfall, have exacerbated the flooding, said DMH meteorologist Eduardo Mingo.

Some 40,000 people in Asuncion have already been affected by the floods, official data reported.

A further 10,000 people have been displaced in the southern town of Pilar on the Argentinian border.

The government has mobilized armed forces to help displaced residents relocate to shelters, but hundreds of families have opted to stay behind in their inundated homes.

AFP