6 APRIL, 2018
BY RICHARD DAVIES
Storms and heavy rain between 03 to 05 April, 2018, have caused severe flooding in Santa Cruz province, Argentina and Magallanes Region in Chile.
Evacuations have been carried out and schools and roads closed. The Santa Cruz provincial government said the flooding has “paralysed the city of Río Gallegos.”
Over 50 people were evacuated and dozens of streets closed after flooding in Río Gallegos, Santa Cruz province, Argentina.
The floods came after a period of heavy rain between 03 to 05 April, 2018. Local media reported that 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 alleviate the flooding.
Argentina’s National Meteorological Service (SMN) said that in a 24 hour period 04 to 05 April, Río Gallegos recorded 59 mm of rain, the highest daily amount on record for the city. The previous daily high was 41.8 mm recorded in January, 1957.
SMN added that Río Gallegos has had its wettest April on record, with 69 mm of rain falling this month (to 05 April). The previous high was 64.1 mm, set in April 2002.
A warning for strong winds and rain will remain in place for the region over the next few days.
Storms and flooding also affected Punta Arenas in Magallanes Region, Chile, around 200km to the south west of Río Gallegos.
Local media reported that several houses and a bridge were damaged in the flooding. The storm also interrupted power supplies. Authorities were prompted to close schools on 04 April, 2018.
The city recorded 33.4 mm of rain in 24 hours to 04 April 2018.. According to WMO figures, Punta Arenas would normally see around 44.7 mm of rain for the whole of April.