Record rain, floods hit Argentina and Chile

Storms and heavy rain caused severe flooding in Santa Cruz province, Argentina and Magallanes Region in Chile between April 3 and 5, 2018.

The flooding has ‘paralyzed the city of Río Gallegos,’ the Santa Cruz provincial government said. Evacuations have been issued and schools and roads closed.

In Río Gallegos, over 50 people were evacuated and dozens of streets closed after flooding after the city received 3 times the amount of rain it would normally see for the whole of April.

Public offices and schools were closed and over 50 people evacuated their homes. Some have since been able to return home.

Civil Protection, police, fire service and military personnel have been deployed to ease the flooding.

According to Argentina’s National Meteorological Service (SMN), in a 24 hour period from April 4 to 5, Río Gallegos recorded 59 mm (2.32 inches) of rain, the highest daily amount on record for the city. The previous daily high was 41.8 mm (1.64 inches) recorded in January 1957.

Río Gallegos has had its wettest April on record, with 69 mm (2.71 inches) of rain falling this month so far. The previous high was 64.1 mm (2.52 inches), set in April 2002.

A warning for strong winds and rain will remain in place for the region over the next few days.

Punta Arenas in Magallanes Region, Chile, was also affected by storms and flooding, around 200 km (124 miles) southwest of Río Gallegos.

According to local media, several houses and a bridge were damaged in the flooding. Power supplies were interrupted as well. Authorities closed schools on April 4, 2018.

The city recorded 33.4 mm (1.31 inches) of rain in 24 hours to April 4, 2018. This region normally receives around 44.7 mm (1.76 inches) of rain in April.

Featured image: Floods in Santa Cruz, Argentina – April 2018. Credit: Red Climática Mundial

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