Flooding in Paraguay sends thousands fleeing

Jun 11, 2014 12:00 AM

Flooding has forced the evacuation of about 150,000 people in Paraguay's capital city Asuncion, authorities said.

After days of heavy rains helped swell the Paraguay and Parana rivers, floodwaters sent an estimated 30,000 families to local shelters so far, the government said.

Housed in a military facility, they were visited by President Horacio Cartes, who pledged ongoing help.

National Emergency Office director Joaquin Roa said Cartes had made available funds for evacuation assistance across the mostly rural South American nation.

"The water came up so fast. We did not have time to do anything, get anything out," Ana de Martinez, who lives in a poor neighborhood called Banado Sur, told. The area has been completely submerged by the Paraguay River.

She said some neighbors did not want to go to a shelter for fear their possessions would be stolen; now the neighborhood is completely underwater.

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