Paraguay: Floods Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) DREF N° MDRPY020

Situation Report
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A. Situation analysis

On 10 May, a new storm that brought with it intense rains, large hailstones and up to 80-km/hr. winds affected the entire country, doubling or tripling monthly rainfall averages. This especially affected the department of Ñeembucú, which received around 250 mm throughout the day, causing river levels to increase by 15cm in 24 hours. In Asunción, the Paraguay River rose between 10 and 17 centimetres in a few hours. On 13 May, Congress asked the Executive Branch to declare an emergency in Ñeembucú department and to extend the emergency declaration for 90 days in the departments of Central, Misiones, Itapúa, Guairá, San Pedro and the capital city of Asunción, which were issued in March and April.

The National Emergency Secretariat has reported that flooding from the Paraguay River has so far affected some 62,119 families along its path. The national government has distributed humanitarian aid in the form of food and supplies to 47,796 families in food and supplies by the National Government.

The Ministry of Health has been consolidating disaggregated preliminary information on the departments of Presidente Hayes, Concepción, Alto Paraguay, Capital, Central, Ñeembucú, Misiones and San Pedro, reporting 45 affected districts, 11 health centres, 12,313 displaced families, 156 collective centres and 16 deaths. The Ministry of Health has provided health assistance to 17,963 people.

Ñeembucú reports that 18,729 families in 16 districts have been affected; 22 collective centres have been set up (in addition to families' and neighbours' homes); three health services have been affected; and three people have died, all in Pilar, the capital of Ñeembucú department.

According to the National Emergency Secretariat, 100 tonnes of non-perishable food items have been distributed to affected families.

A large part of the Concepción area is under water. The 4-cm rise in river water levels initially affected more than 1,500 people, of which 190 families have suffered damages and 110 have been displaced. The most affected districts in the interior were Paso Barreto and Sgto. José Félix López, ex Puentesiño and several neighbourhoods in Chaco'i and Calaberita, where homes have suffered damages and families are living in temporary shelters. There is a gap in humanitarian assistance.

The main issues identified are attributed to geographical conditions and the population: large territory, impassable roads, isolated communities, vulnerable population, food security, difficulties in receiving food assistance due to blocked roads, loss of means of production, crop loss, and rising prices for the basic food basket.

Rapid increases in Paraguay River flows have been occurring since mid-April; severe storms and intense rainfall have compounded this situation and resulted in a phenomenon that had not been forecast. According to Meteorology and Hydrology Directorate data, floods in Paraguay once again occur under atypical conditions with levels well above average normal. The land around the Paraguay River's middle basin has been saturated by these last weeks' rains, generating significant surpluses in areas downstream. Water levels in Concepción remain significantly higher than normal. In the lower basin, heavy rains have continued to fall on already waterlogged soils, causing accelerated runoffs towards the river's main course, which in turn continues to rise steadily