At least 14 people killed in Bolivia landslides

Torrential rain causes mountains to collapse, blocking roads north of La Paz.

    At least 14 people have been killed and seven others are missing following two landslides in Bolivia, according to the national police chief, Romulo Delgado.

    Torrential rain caused the landslides on the road linking the capital, La Paz, to the northern town of Caranavi, the gateway to the Amazon rainforest, over the weekend.

    President Evo Morales said on his Twitter account that helicopters were being used to transport 34 wounded to local hospitals.

    He also posted pictures of himself at the scene alongside rescue teams.

    Morales advised people to stay clear of the area, adding that flights would be organised for emergency cases.

    Approximately 50 people were injured as soil and rocks fell on at least six vehicles, including public transport vehicles. The ongoing roadworks also hampered rescue work.

    Tonnes of earth collapsed from roadside mountains following the first landslide due to the continuous rain, burying several vehicles on the highway.

    The second mudslide occurred at the same site, resulting in more causalities.

    The local education authority in Caranavi postponed the start of the new school year by a week.

    The National Hydrological and Meteorological Service issued an orange alert for various departments in the state, warning that this year's rainy period has begun with unusually heavy precipitation.

    The North Yungas Road, a narrow cliff-side highway, was named the ''world's most dangerous road'' by the Inter-American Development Bank.

    Bolivia's rainy season generally lasts from November to March with January and February often the wettest months.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies