Paraguay: Severe Local Storm Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) Operation n° MDRPY017

Situation Report
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A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

On 4 April 2015, a storm system developed in the department of Concepción in Paraguay with verticallydeveloped storm clouds that had a registered cap that exceeded 16,500 feet. Based on the damage caused in the district of Loreto, the event has been listed in that area as a severe microburst storm with descending winds. The district of Horqueta also sustained damages, specifically in the community of Naranjaty due to a combined effect of a microburst produced by a downdraft from the severe storm and a vortex or spiral twist produced by a category F1 tornado (wind gusts between 150 and 180 km/h). This phenomenon produced hail, strong winds, electric shocks and heavy rains in these two districts.

On 9 April 2015, the government of Paraguay declared a state of emergency (Law 5229/2015) for the department of Concepción for a period of nine months. This occurred after the state of emergency issued by the Departmental Board of Concepción in two districts: Loreto and Horqueta; other districts in this department were also affected by floods in 2014.

The extent of damage is reflected by the high degree of houses destroyed including surrounding forests and crops. According to the National Emergency Secretariat, 1,000 families are affected in the districts of Loreto and Horqueta in the department of Concepción to date. Eighty per cent of these families lost their household goods, furniture, clothing, documents, food and farm equipment as a result of the strong winds that removed the corrugated roofs and belongings. Additionally, roofs sustained damages due to the hail and rains. More than 150 houses were completely destroyed; two people died due to the collapse of their houses and 25 people suffered injuries. The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock reported 25 dead cattle and 100 dead chickens.

The storm seriously affected the infrastructure of a school and left the population without electricity because 100 concrete electrical towers collapsed. Since the transformer to operate the water processing plant did not work in in early days of the emergency, water services were suspended; the service has since been partially restored.

In regard to the effect on livelihoods, the storm arrived just at the time of harvest, resulting in losses of 90 per cent of crops for home consumption and income and limiting the recovery of seeds for later planting. According to the Directorate of Agricultural Extension of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, estimated agricultural damages and losses in the districts of Loreto and Horqueta are 3,000 to 3,500 hectares, including maize, castor, sesame and paprika. In the district of Loreto, 1,127.5 hectares are partially affected including maize, cassava, beans, sweet potatoes and paprika, affecting 2,000 local farming families.