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South American floods kill 12, force mass evacuations
by Staff Writers
Buenos Aires (AFP) April 20, 2016

Texas floods kill at least seven
Washington (AFP) April 20, 2016 - Flooding triggered by heavy rains in and around Houston has killed at least seven people and prompted mass rescues, authorities from America's fourth-largest city said Tuesday.

A flash flood watch will be active in the Texas city through late Wednesday, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said, warning of "widespread showers and thunderstorms" with up to four inches (10 centimeters) of rainfall.

"Most drown victims occur in vehicles... Turn around, don't drown," it said in a bulletin urging people to avoid travel in flooded areas.

"Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation."

Cars were partially engulfed on roadways that had turned into swollen rivers.

Three men and two women were found dead in vehicles on flooded roadways in Harris County -- home to the Houston metropolitan area -- with another man found dead in neighboring Waller County.

The Houston Chronicle reported an additional fatality in nearby Austin County.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has declared a state of disaster in nine counties, unlocking state resources to handle the emergency.

Harris County said first responders there have rescued 1,821 across the area, warning it expected more deaths and flooding victims.

Three shelters have been opened in the county, which has staffed its Emergency Operations Center on a 24-hour basis until further notice.

Houston International Airport experienced its second wettest day ever recorded on Monday, the National Weather Service said.

Severe storms and flooding across South America's "southern cone" have killed at least 12 people and forced thousands to evacuate, with more bad weather on the way.

Argentina, Chile and Uruguay have all been hit by the deluge, which has inundated towns, taken out bridges, blocked roads and cut off water supplies in recent days.

In Uruguay, the bad weather culminated Friday in a tornado that killed five people in the western town of Dolores.

Four others were killed when they were swept away by floodwaters, officials said Wednesday, updating an earlier death toll after a man's body was found on the banks of the San Jose river.

More than 10,000 people have been evacuated in Uruguay, which typically has a mild climate.

In Chile, three people were killed and nine are missing after heavy rains swept the country at the weekend.

The storms poured nearly five times more precipitation on the central Andes mountains than they typically get in the entire month of April.

Flooding interrupted the supply of potable water to nearly 4.5 million people in Santiago.

Chilean officials said water supplies had been restored as life slowly returned to normal in the capital.

Flooding also forced the closure of the world's largest underground copper mine, El Teniente, until Thursday.

In Argentina, 12,000 people were forced to evacuate, mainly in Entre Rios province, which sits between the swollen Parana and Uruguay rivers.

More rain was forecast for later in the week.


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Previous Report
Texas floods kill at least five: report
Washington (AFP) April 19, 2016
Flooding in and around the US city of Houston has killed at least five people and prompted mass rescues, reports said. With rain wreaking havoc in the Texas city - the fourth most populous in the country - Governor Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster in nine counties. A flash flood watch for Houston will remain in effect until Wednesday morning, with more rain expected Tuesday, th ... read more

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