Argentina has launched a federal emergency system as flooding continues to force thousands from their homes. Nathan Frandino reports.
Flooding in the Argentine city of Concordia has residents paddling for higher ground. This, after what local authorities say is the worst flooding in 50 years. So far, some 20,000 people have had to evacuate. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) UNIDENTIFIED RESIDENT, SAYING: "The water rose so suddenly that it flooded the door and we had to get everything up on the fence. We cut through the gate to get everything out." Summer rains attributed to the El Nino weather phenomenon have swelled rivers in the region, drowning homes completely. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) UNIDENTIFIED RESIDENT, SAYING: "The house is underwater unfortunately. When we left, you could barely see the ceiling." The same storm system has also hit neighboring Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil, forcing more than 100,000 to evacuate in recent days. Meanwhile at La Casa Rosada Presidential Palace in Buenos Aires, Security Minister Patricia Bullrich announced a new Federal Emergency System. It's aimed at helping to coordinate national and regional organizations in emergency situations like the flooding. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) SECURITY MINISTER, PATRICIA BULLRICH, SAYING: "Our goal now is to be close to the people who are suffering, stand beside those who have been flooded and not be there just for today. All of us are together on this until in the day the water goes down." Those here in Buenos Aires are also standing beside the flood victims, showering them with donations of clothing and clean water in their time of need.