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AP PHOTOS: Iguazu Falls hit by heavy rains

Friday - 6/28/2013, 4:10am  ET

A rainbow arcs over Iguazu Falls in Iguazu National Park, Brazil, Thursday, June 27, 2013. Torrential rain in the past week in southern Brazil has swollen Iguazu River, obliging authorities to close some of the walkways that lead to the waterfalls known as "Garganta del Diablo," or Devil's Throat. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)

FOZ DO IGUAZU, Brazil (AP) -- The majestic Iguazu Falls that straddle the border of Brazil and Argentina have been hit hard by rains that are keeping visitors from seeing them up close and leading officials to take measures to prevent flooding.

The amount of water flowing at one of South America's biggest tourist destinations is now about 13 million liters (roughly 3,434,000 gallons) per second. That's up from the roughly 1.5 million liters (roughly 396,000 gallons) per second two weeks ago, according to park administrators on the Brazilian side.

The rains have forced park officials to temporarily close the Garganta Do Diabo, or Devil's Throat. The walkway on the Brazilian side of the falls allows visitors to be surrounded by water with a deep abyss below.

But the rains have not put a damper on hundreds of visitors who can still view the falls from a distance.

Officials say they will re-open the walkway the day after the Iguazu River returns to its normal water levels for this time of the year. Forecasters expect the waters to recede in three days.

The Iguazu Falls are four times the width of the Niagara Falls in the U.S. and Canada.

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