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  • The floods come after a period of drought that forced Uruguayan authorities to limit the use of drinking water late July.

    The floods come after a period of drought that forced Uruguayan authorities to limit the use of drinking water late July. | Photo: EFE

Published 18 August 2015

Heavy rains have caused rivers to rise above safe levels, resulting in floods and displacement.

Following a period of drought, Uruguay has been hit by two weeks of heavy rains causing floods that have forced more than 5,000 to evacuate their homes.

Floods have forced a record 5,132 people, mostly children and elderly, to leave their homes and take refuge in government-assisted shelters where they are provided with food and accommodation, according to Uruguay's news agency El Pais.

While to date no casualties have been reported, the number of evacuees is expected to rise.

Two weeks of heavy rains have caused the country's rivers Olimar, Yi and Uruguay to rise above the level defined by authorities as safe and have provoked floods in different provinces.

The floods come after a period of drought that forced Uruguayan authorities to limit the use of drinking water late July.

RELATED: Latin America 'Vanguard' of Climate Change Action, Says UN

The central province of Durazno has been most affected by the turbulent weather, witnessing the highest number of evacuations in the country with 4,700 people displaced .

According to officials, River Olimar's water levels have gradually subsided from seven meters above its average height and down to 5.40 meters.

Meanwhile, the water level of River Yi remains at 11.10 meters. Experts foresee a gradual decrease in the coming hours. ​

A similar phenomenon in Argentina caused four deaths and more than 6,000 evacuees.

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