Paraguay calls for complete evacuation of town of 7,000 people

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016-1-1 11:19:04

The government of Paraguay called on Thursday for the total evacuation of the town of Alberdi, with 7,000 people, due to the risk of flooding after a wall holding back the Paraguay river is set to burst. Located 234km from the capital of Asuncion in the southwestern department of Neembecu, Alberdi lies along the Paraguay river, separating the country from Argentina.

"I do not have the legal recourse to call for a forced evacuation. The evacuation will have to be voluntary," said Joaquin Roa, the Minister of National Emergencies, said in an interview with national TV station Telefuturo.

According to Roa, the condition of the wall can absolutely not be guaranteed, with an official inspection on Wednesday having found cracks and leaks.

Authorities are now going house to house in Alberdi to inform the population of the need to evacuate.

Roa added that the provincial government of Formosa in Argentina, whose capital city lies across the river from Alberdi "stands ready to welcome all who want to migrate."

On Wednesday night, Alberdi mayor Federico Centurion insisted the need to evacuate, saying "the wall is in no condition for anyone to remain living in the city. Alberdi is in the hands of God." On Thursday, the Paraguay river was 9.65 meters higher than its normal level as it crossed the town of Alberdi.

Widespread floods across Paraguay have already displaced around 130,000 people.

Posted in: Americas

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