The Indy Eye: Life After The Floods

10th February 2016  Peter Lykke Lind
46


Throughout December 2015 and January 2016, large areas of the Southern Cone were hit by devastating floods, affecting approximately 160,000 people in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Entre Rios in north-eastern Argentina has been hit hard by unusually high rainfall that is part attributed to the weather phenomenon El Niño. The heavy rains caused the Uruguay River – the natural border between Argentina and Uruguay – to rise above 16 metres, bursting its banks and spilling into nearby towns.

In the small town of Concordia, around 20,000 people were affected by floods. Some 2,000 were evacuated, half of them children, according to Red Cross Argentina. The NGO has labelled the floods “the most complex in history”.

Meteorologists have labelled this year´s El Niño a ”Super El Niño”, as temperatures in the Pacific Ocean have risen some 2.3 degrees. The two previous ”Super El Niño´s” have both returned in March, and traditionally the area experiences heavy seasonal rain that month. Based on that, the threat of further floods remains even as the people of Concordia start to pick up the pieces from the recent catastrophe.

We travelled to Concordia with Red Cross Argentina, and met some of the people that were evacuated a month ago, and talked to them about returning to what is left of their homes. Despite the devastation and ongoing risks, the overwhelming message is one of defiance: they say they won´t leave.

All photos by Peter Lykke Lind.

Carment Argentina in her kitchen. ”The water left marks, you can feel they are still wet,” she says.

Carment Argentina in her kitchen. ”The water left marks, you can feel they are still wet,” she says.

The glass windows in Christian Vilchez kitchen were shattered, and are now replaced with wood. ”There´s nothing left here,” he says.

The glass windows in Christian Vilchez’s kitchen were shattered, and are now replaced with wood. ”There´s nothing left here,” he says.

Christian´s two-year old baby sister Sofia Vilchez eats lunch on her bed.

Christian´s two-year old baby sister Sofia Vilchez eats lunch on her bed.

Nestor Cabrera, 52, looks towards the stream that runs through Concordia. ”My house was under water,” he says disheartened.

Nestor Cabrera, 52, looks towards the stream that runs through Concordia. ”My house was under water,” he says disheartened.

The local stream is still  filled with the people of Concordia´s belongings, much of them now trash.

The local stream is still filled with trash and some of the ruined belongings of the people of Concordia

A children's toy bike is left dumped in the stream.

A children’s toy bike is left dumped in the stream.

A table-football table that suffered the effects of the flooding.

A table-football table that suffered the effects of the flooding.

”I will never leave my home,” says Ramon Bardon, after pointing to a water mark near the roof of his house.

”I will never leave my home,” says Ramon Bardon, after pointing to a water mark near the roof of his house.

An entire house was shifted off its foundations.

An entire house was shifted off its foundations.

The houses in Concordia bear marks of the floods, above window level.

The houses in Concordia bear marks of the floods, above window level.








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