Argentina El Niño Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 1

Situation Report
Originally published
Ref: OCHAGVA - 98/0189


1. Strong storms and abnormal rainfall, reportedly caused by the El Nino phenomenon, have been causing severe flooding in the northern part of Argentina, affecting in particular the Provinces of Entre Rios, Santa Fe, Corrientes, Misiones, Chaco and Formosa,

2. Torrential rains have reached historical levels in many localities, with rivers and tributaries overflowing their banks, causing serious damage to the agriculture sector, to road infrastructure, leading to the evacuation of thousands of people.

3. According to the National Direction for Planning and Civil Defence, approximately 32,800 people have been evacuated, of which 9,000 just in the Province of Corrientes. In the Province of Chaco, some 100,000 people are isolated by the flood waters. Preliminary estimates indicate that approximately 290,000 people have been affected by this emergency. So far, five persons have been registered dead.

4. The road infrastructure has suffered also with the flooding, with some 17 national and local roads blocked or with restricted circulation.

National response

5. The overall relief operation is being coordinated by the Secretariat of Interior Security, through its National Direction for Planning and Civil Defence. A ''Joint Emergency Operations Centre'' has been established with personnel from the National Direction for Prevention and Social Emergencies.

6. Security Forces have been carrying out relief activities in the areas affected, under the coordination of local Civil Defence Committees. The National Police and the Argentinean Navy have been assisting with aerial means (helicopters), vehicles and rescue teams.

7. Until this moment, the Government has not issued an appeal for international assistance.

8. This situation report and further information on ongoing emergencies are also available on the OCHA Internet Website at:

Telephone number: + 41-22-917-1234
In case of emergency only: + 41 22 917 2010
Desk Officers: Mr. E. Haegglund and Mr. C. Monteiro-Pereira - direct tel. +41-22- 917- 32.99 / +41-22- 917-13.83
Telex 41 42 42 ocha ch
Fax: + 41 22 917 0023

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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