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Deadly floods hit Bolivia
Government deploys army to aid more than 50,000 people left homeless.
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2007 09:11 GMT
Heavy rains have flooded eight of Bolivia's nine provinces [AP]

Bolivia has deployed soldiers to help more than 50,000 people left homeless by two months of heavy rains.
 
The government says two months of rain have caused 35 deaths and left 52,687 homeless, mostly because of flooding and mudslides.
 
The country has also begun to receive foreign aid.
"A maximum alert has been declared," presidential spokesman Juan Ramon Quintana said.
 
"All units of the armed forces throughout our territory are at the disposition of civil defence," he said.

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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.

Source:
Agencies
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