Eight dead in Uruguay floods

ROSARIO (Uruguay), April 19 — Storms and floods in Uruguay have killed eight people and drove 4,000 from their homes in recent days, authorities said yesterday, updating an earlier toll.

Four people were killed and 200 injured when a storm struck the western city of Dolores on Friday and three others were later found to have died while trying to cross flooded rivers in the region, according to a government toll.

A fifth person there died on Friday from injuries, officials said.

Countless buildings were destroyed in Dolores, according to an AFP reporter in the town.

The National Emergency System yesterday raised to 4,031 the number of people across the country forced to abandon their homes after rivers burst their banks.

The hardest-hit town was Rosario, 130 kilometers west of the capital Montevideo, where waters from the Rosario River had swept away houses.

The floodwater was starting to subside and people returning to their homes yesterdau.

But the national weather service warned that more heavy rain was on the way.

Cleaning up his flooded house in Rosario, Mauricio Alvarez, 46, told AFP that on Saturday “the river rose so quickly there was no time to do anything.”

The flooded river at one point cut off the main national highway that links Montevideo to the tourist town of Sacramento de Colonia and the Argentine capital Buenos Aires. — AFP