Flooding hits northern Argentina

Two killed and cars submerged as rain triggers major problems in Resistencia and Corrientes provinces.

    At least two people have been killed after severe storms lashed Argentina.

    The storms hit the provinces of Chaco and Corrientes in the northeast of the country, where up to 204 millimetres of rain was recorded.

    The two who died were a father and son who were electrocuted as they placed sandbags outside their home in an attempt to stop it flooding, according to the Clarin news website.

    Throughout the region, widespread power cuts were reported as streets became rivers. At least 1,800 people were evacuated.

    Videos on social media showed roads and vehicles submerged, with a car filmed floating down the street in the city of Corrientes.

    Over 1,100mm of rain has been reported in the neighbouring city of Resistencia so far this year, which is approaching the total of 1,327mm expected over the entire year.

    The extreme amounts of rain are being blamed on the El Nino conditions in the Pacific Ocean.

    El Nino is the slight warming of the surface waters of the Pacific, which is a natural phenomenon that can have a dramatic effect on the weather around the world.

    The warm waters often trigger a drought in Southeast Asia, mild winters in western Canada and, for northern Argentina, it usually induces above-average rain.

    The flooding this year began even before the El Nino conditions were officially declared. Northeast Argentina and the adjacent parts of Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil were hit with extensive flooding in January.

    On January 8, the Argentine city of Resistencia recorded 224mm of rainfall, which was a new 24-hour rainfall record, much higher than the previous highest of 206mm, recorded in January 1994.

    A weak El Nino is likely to continue throughout the Northern Hemisphere over the summer of 2019 and possibly into autumn. This would mean that northern Argentina could see more flooding in the coming weeks and months.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies