Floods force thousands of Bolivians from their homes

Torrential downpours cause widespread flooding across northern Bolivia after Acre River overflowed.

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    Residents were forced to seek shelter as the Acre River burst its banks [EPA]
    Residents were forced to seek shelter as the Acre River burst its banks [EPA]

    Weeks of heavy rain have left parts of Bolivia underwater after the Acre River burst its banks. The worst of the flooding has been across northern parts of the country.

    Residents have been using boats to navigate the flooded streets. These historic floods have forced at least 450 families to evacuate their homes across six northern neighbourhoods.

    A further two neighbourhoods are expected to flood over the next few days and local authorities have set up ten shelters for the victims. More of these will be needed over the coming days.

    Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera spoke during a visit to the region, saying: "As you have seen, various houses, various towns have been affected. It is unprecedented".

    "That means 800, 1,000, 1,500 families who have had water rising up to the second floor in their houses. In some cases, the water is covering the roof," he added.

    Since October, at least 25 people have been killed by the heavy seasonal rains. 

    Unfortunately, there is more rain in the forecast. Bearing that in mind, we are likely to see conditions get worse over the next few days.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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