Severe flooding has resulted in a huge amount of damage and disruption across parts of South America. Eastern Paraguay, southern Brazil and northern Argentina have all been badly affected.
Over a quarter-of-a-million people have been forced to leave their homes. According to Paraguayan officials, the floods have resulted in the evacuation of almost 300,000 people living near the Paraguay and Parana rivers.
Officials said that United Nations and Red Cross experts have evaluated the situation and they are now beginning to receive some international aid.
The same area of torrential rain also extended across southern Brazil. Here it has caused more than 50,000 people to seek shelter away from their homes, increasing an earlier estimate almost tenfold.
Similarly, the heavy and steady downpours have forced the evacuations in Argentina. Some reports estimate that around 12,500 people have been affected. According to Cabinet Chief, Jorge Capitanich, many residents from the swamped low-lying areas in the provinces of Misiones and Formosa are now living in temporary accommodation.
Officials say that some relief has got through, now that the rains in the Misiones region along the border with Paraguay and Brazil have finally stopped for the first time in a week. The government expects President Cristina Fernandez to tour the flood-hit areas this week.