INTRODUCTION: Thousands of people in an extensive area of north-east Argentina have been forced to abandon their homes because the Parana river has overflowed its banks.
INTRODUCTION: Thousands of people in an extensive area of north-east Argentina have been forced to abandon their homes because the Parana river has overflowed its banks. One of the worst-hit provinces is Santa Fe, but others including Corrientes, Misiones, Formosa and Entre Rios are also effected.
SYNOPSIS: In the remote region of Santa Fe many families have been stranded by the flood-waters, which cover a large area and last week still showed no signs of subsiding. Heavy and continuous rainfall has contributed to the problem and a state of emergency has been declared in all five provinces. Rescue operations rely largely on local resources.
The floods are considered to be among the worst on record in Argentina. In Santa Fe -- 500 kilometres (310 miles) north of Buenos Aires -- the water has almost reached the level of the highways. If, or when this happens, the province will be completely cut off from land transport. In the meantime the inhabitants are doing the best they can to provide for themselves.
The most serious problem is housing. For the time being any type of shelter on dry land is being utilised and one of the most popular forms of alternative accommodation is railway carriages. Schools are also being used. For the children it must all seem like a big adventure -- unless you happen to be too young to appreciate the camping spirit.