OCHA Situation Report No. 1
Uruguay - Floods
7 June 2001
Heavy rains cause serious flooding in northern, central and southern parts of Uruguay
1. According to the Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator's office in Montevideo, 15 days of intense rain has caused flooding in the northern part, in particular, in the department of Artigas, as well as in the central and southern departments of Rivera and Durazno, respectively.
2. For the last four days, the rain has been continuously falling, causing flooding on some 20 routes. The Uruguay River's water level reached quite a critical level. (According to the media, the water reached 5.98 m on 5 June, while the threshold level for evacuation purposes is of 6.10 m).
3. The Director of the National Emergency System (SNE) informed that this flood emergency was one of the worst experiences in the recent history and that some 5,000 people had been evacuated (out of which, 2,059 children). Approximately, 1,200 houses have been affected, of which 240 totally destroyed.
4. The water level of the Cuareim River, in the department of Artigas, has reached the record level of 14.18 m. Some parts of the department continue to be isolated due to the flooding. Some 3,000 people are in municipal shelters or staying with friends and families. Damage to the agricultural sector is reportedly significant but an assessment has not been carried out yet. School classes have been suspended.
5. The National Emergency System (SNE), consisting of authorities of the highest level, met with seven Ministers (of National Defense, Interior, Public Health, Housing, Economy and Finance, Transport and Public Works, Labor and Social Security and three commanders of the Armed Forces.
6. The Government has announced that it would provide all the assistance needed to the affected population. Technical staff of the Ministry of Housing is visiting the affected region to evaluate damage caused by the floods. The President of the Republic and the Ministers of Transport, Housing and Defense will also be visiting the affected area. The National Emergency System (SNE) is providing food, sanitation and medical assistance to some 5,000 people.
7. The Government of Uruguay has not requested international assistance to date.
8. This Situation Report and further information on ongoing emergencies are also available on the OCHA Internet website, www.reliefweb.int.
In case of emergency: Tel. +41-22-917-2010
Desk Officers: Mr. Erik Haegglund / Mr.
Carlos Pereira / Ms. Masayo Kondo
Direct tel: +41-22-917 32 99/13 83/19 97
Press contact: Ms. M. Moulin-Acevedo, Direct tel. +41-22-917-3160
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