Uruguay

Uruguay struck by worst floods in decades

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Geneva_(dpa) _ Up to 110,000 people have been affected by the worst floods in Uruguay since 1959, with more torrential rain forecast, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported Friday.

Some 12,000 people have been forced to leave their homes with this number expected to rise. Thousands of homes have been destroyed or damaged.

The government called on the UN for help after the heavy rains washed away roads and damaged water supplies, sewage systems, power and telephone lines. Some 30,000 people were left without access to fresh water.

The departments of Durazno, Soriano and Treinta y Tres were the worst affected. Here landslides followed a week of heavy rain which saw rivers break their banks. In Durazno, the River Yi was 14 meters above its average height.

The OCHA has approved an emergency cash grant of 30,000 dollars to buy urgent relief supplies. dpa hl ch

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