In Northern Argentina, heavy rainfall over the past few months has caused severe flooding over a wide area.
In Northern Argentina, heavy rainfall over the past few months has caused severe flooding over a wide area. Several thousand people are homeless, and a local power station has been turned off as the flood waters advance. The Argentine authorities - hard pressed to deal with the rising daily toll of injured and homeless - say more rain is on the way, and may soon have a state of emergency on their hands.
SYNOPSIS: The situation in the northern town of Formosa is fast approaching crisis point. Most of the houses lie under several metres of water, and with essential supplies and services cut-off, the whole area is virtually inaccessible. The authorities predict worse is yet to come.
Much of water flowing into the area has come surging down the Paraguay and Parana rivers from Paraguay, in the north. There, it has already caused widespread destruction and has left an estimated twenty five thousand homeless.
The heavy rains have still not subsided and with the water rising an estimated ten centimetres a day, villages are desperately trying to salvage what little property remains undamaged.
Emergency flood workers are fighting a last minute battle to rebuild the river banks. Heavy machinery has been brought in to move ons of earth to form artificial levees. These, it is hoped, will prevent further widespread inundation of valuable agricultural land.
In order to cope with the mass of villagers needing medical attention, a train has been specially converted into a mobile clinic. Here the injured are dealt with, medications dispensed, and inoculations given to prevent the on-set of diseases, such as typhoid.
The train also serves as a temporary relief centre for the homeless and infirm. Already conditions are cramped. And with another massive volume of water expected to hit formosa within a week, the authorities predict they will have ten thousand evacuees on their hands, and severe problems in coping.