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Severe flooding has displaced more than 40,000 in Paraguay

By Manuel Crespo Feliciano, Accuweather en Español staff writer
May 10, 2019, 12:50:49 PM EDT

According to government officials in Paraguay, approximately 40,000 people have been displaced since March as a consequence of the recent floods in the South American nation.

Joaquín Roa, minister of the National Emergency Secretariat, said that more than 10,000 of the evacuees have been relocated to the country's capital, Asunción, military bases, public squares and even nearby roads.

Since March, intense rains have led to significant floods caused by increasing water levels in the Paraguay River.

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(AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)

The Santa Ana neighborhood is flooded in Asuncion, Paraguay, Tuesday, May 7, 2019. Officials say they’ve had to evacuate some 40,000 people due to unusually heavy rains since March.

(AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)

The Plaza de Armas public park is filled with shacks that were set up by people whose homes have been flooded, in downtown Asuncion, Paraguay, Tuesday, May 7, 2019. Officials say they’ve had to evacuate some 40,000 people due to unusually heavy rains since March.

Secretaría de Emergencia Nacional (SEN) de Paraguay

Some of the affected manage to rescue some of their belongings in the middle of the flood.

Secretaría de Emergencia Nacional (SEN) de Paraguay

Members of the National Emergency Secretariat (SEN) of Paraguay assist some of the victims.

Jorge Saenz/AP

A woman carries belongings out of the flooded Sajonia neighborhood in Asuncion, Paraguay, Sunday, April 14, 2019.

Recent data shows the river has reached up to 6.92 meters (22.7 feet) in height, when its normal stage is 4 meters (13.10 feet).

However, Paraguay's Hydrology Department reported that the level of disaster will be when it reaches 8 meters high (26.25 feet). According to current forecasts, it is not expected that there will be sufficient precipitation to reach these levels.

On the other hand, the country's cattle industry -- which includes 100 million cows, according to The Associated Press, and is one of the country's main economic engines -- has suffered significant losses as a result of the ongoing flooding.

Carlos Jiménez, president of the subsidiary in the Bajo Chaco of the Rural Association of Paraguay, told The Associated Press that of the 4 million cattle existing in the area, around 480,000 are in the water or grouped in small, higher-elevation places near the flooding.

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