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Quintana said that Eva Morales, the Bolivian president and his cabinet first met on Friday to confront the flooding in eight of Bolivia's nine provinces.


Since then the cabinet has been in an "ongoing state of emergency", in which ministers will fan out across Bolivia to spearhead rescue and recovery efforts.


Main transportation routes, especially roads between the eastern  industrial province of Santa Cruz and Bolivia's interior, have been cut and damaged along lengthy stretches and cannot be permanently  repaired as the rains continue, Bolivia's highway administration said.


Bolivian officials blame El Nino, a warming of Pacific Ocean  temperatures, for the heavy rains.