The national park that houses the Iguazú Falls in Argentina, located in the province of Misiones (east), closed due to the flooding of the Igauzú and Uruguay rivers.
As of October 12, “the waterfall area will be closed preventively,” the park administration said in a statement.
The rise of the Iguazú River first forced the closure of access to the Garganta del Diablo, a set of waterfalls up to 80 meters high, but hours later the park’s closure was announced.
The measure “seeks to protect the safety of visitors and workers due to the increase in the flow of the Iguazú River,” the agency said.
On the night of October 12, the flow of the Iguazú Falls reached 14.5 million liters of water per second, which represents 10 times more than the average flow. The most affected communes are located on the banks of the Uruguay River, on the border with Brazil.
Six families had to be evacuated from El Soberbio, a city that is located about 200 kilometers northeast of Posadas, the capital of Misiones.
Due to the overflowing of the water courses, the viaduct that connects the Argentine town of Alba Posse (northeast) with the Brazilian town of Porto Mauá (southeast) was closed.
The raft crossing in the El Soberbio-Porto Soberbo port, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, was also cut.
The rains registered in Brazil led to the hydroelectric dams opening the gates to relieve the water load.
There are 13 dams on the Iguazú river basin that cause the flows to fluctuate, “but there comes a point when the dams cannot remain closed and that produces this extraordinary flood, which has its origin in the large amount of rainfall that occurs throughout the basin,” the mayor of Iguazú National Park, Atilio Guzmán, told the Misiones Online portal.
It had been ten days since it rained in the basin. The last time a circuit in the Cataratas National Park had to be closed was in July.