President Mauricio Macri cancelled his agenda this Friday in order to visit the provinces of Entre Ríos and Santa Fe, situated in the north of Argentina, which have been severely affected by flooding. Consistent and seemingly unrelenting rain has forced thousands of people to have to evacuate their homes and is creating some fear that the country’s grain exports could be negatively impacted.
For the last 15 days, heavy rain has fallen on the Provinces of Entre Ríos, Corrientes, Santa Fe, Chaco, Formosa and Santiago del Estero, which have all been placed under a state of alert. The rain has subsequently caused both the Paraná and Salado Rivers to overflow. Last weekend, it was estimated that 7,000 people have been forced to evacuate their homes in the six provinces and in total, 15,000 people have been affected.
The President set off this morning accompanied by Interior Minister Rogelio Frigerio, Social Development Minister Carolina Stanley and Agriculture Minister Ricardo Buryaile. Arriving in the city of Paraná, Entre Ríos Province, the presidential party will be greeted by the governor of Entre Ríos, Gustavo Borde, among others.
The group will first pay a visit to an evacuation center to speak to those residents who have been forced to move out of their flood-damaged homes. The government has said that it will continue to assist those affected by providing supplies, medication and security forces, until the situation “returns to normal.”
Health Minister Jorge Lemus has meanwhile headed a meeting of health authorities to coordinate relief efforts in the provinces of Chaco, Córdoba, Corrientes, Entre Ríos, Formosa, Misiones and Santa Fe.
The provinces of Santa Fe and Entre Ríos rely heavily on farming, which has been severely affected by the heavy rain. Speaking to Radio Vorterix this morning, Agriculture Minister Ricardo Buryaile said that some areas have been totally lost due to the flooding. “We are worried about how this will affect our foreign trade, but as long as the rain stops, we are not going to have a major problem,” affirmed Buryaile.
He continued by saying that although Entre Ríos, Córdoba and Santa Fe Provinces had all seen significant damage to their crop areas, this “will not have a huge impact on the [overall] harvest” given they represent around 2 percent of Argentina’s total agricultural output.
However, the forecast doesn’t look good with the National Meteorological Service predicting that rain will continue until at least the end of the weekend.