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El Niño to blame for wild weather around the world
01:26 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

The world’s weather turned wild over the Christmas holiday week, with devastating storms, tornadoes and wildfires wreaking havoc across the globe.

Torrential rains in parts of South America, blamed on El Nino, have displaced more than 150,000 people across Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

In the United States, a mammoth storm system engulfing much of the country has claimed at least 24 lives, including four soldiers in Missouri. Counting victims from other storms earlier last week, the death toll is 43.

Swaths of northern England have been submerged with mammoth flooding, prompting evacuations and dozens of urgent warnings.

Authorities in Spain and Australia, meanwhile, are fighting to get devastating fires under control.

Here’s what’s going on across the globe:

South America

El Nino is causing chaos across South America, inducing severe rains and flooding on a scale not seen for decades.

Flood waters caused havoc in several places, including Concordia, Argentina, where water flooded a train.

Here’s a look at some of the most affected countries:

Paraguay: In Paraguay, the hardest-hit country, more than 130,000 people were evacuated. In the city of Alberdi, residents fled as walls holding back water appeared on the verge of collapse, authorities said.

Argentina: As many as 20,000 people were evacuated, half of them from Concordia, the heavily affected city that President Mauricio Macri visited Sunday.

Brazil: At least 38 cities were inundated, with Rio Grande do Sul state taking the biggest hit, authorities said. More than 1,800 families were forced to leave their homes.

Uruguay: At least 11,300 people had to flee their homes, mostly in the northwestern city of Salto, the head of the National Emergencies Office said Sunday.


Britain: The army has been sent in to help deal with the flooding across northern England, which local residents say is the worst in living memory for some areas.

Authorities issued 24 severe flood warnings Sunday, each one meaning there is a “danger to life.” Thousands of people have been left without electricity.

British Prime Minister David Cameron chaired an emergency Cabinet meeting Sunday and said more troops will be deployed to assist with the response to the flooding.

A firefighter battles against a blaze outbreak in northwest Spain.

Spain: Dozens of wildfires have been burning for over a week in remote regions of northern and central Spain.

The government deployed three water-dropping planes to battle more than 40 fires in the regions of Asturias and Avila, which have been experiencing unusually warm weather, Agence France-Presse reported Sunday.

A helicopter battling a fire in Asturias crashed Wednesday, killing the pilot, the aircraft’s sole occupant.


Australia: Wildfires have raged across thousands of hectares of land left vulnerable by exceptionally dry weather in the southern state of Victoria. The fires, one of which consumed at least 116 homes over Christmas, are expected to continue to burn for weeks.

The situation couldn’t be more different in the country’s Northern Territory, where residents are getting pummeled by severe thunderstorms and flooding.

CNN’s Monte Plott contributed to this report.