BBC News

Uruguay floods displace thousands

image copyrightSINAE
image captionThe north-west of the country has been badly affected

Almost 3,500 people in Uruguay have had to leave their homes after heavy rains caused flooding in large parts of the South American country.

The worst affected area is the north-western province of Salto, on the border with Argentina, where almost 2,000 people were evacuated.

The provinces of Paysandú and Artigas have also been hit.

Uruguay's defence minister said the army, navy and air force were helping with the evacuation.

More heavy rains have been forecast for the coming days and the authorities fear the Uruguay river could rise further, putting more towns at risk.

Some residents who had to flee their homes have been sheltering in temporary accommodation, while others are staying with relatives or friends in drier areas.

The region is no stranger to flooding. In December 2015 more than 150,000 people in Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil were driven from their homes by some of the worst flooding in decades.

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