Heavy rain and mudslides kill eight in Bolivia

Seasonal rains cause deadly floods and widespread damage in northern and western Bolivia.

Seasonal rains cause deadly floods and widespread damage in northern and western Bolivia [Reuters]
Seasonal rains cause deadly floods and widespread damage in northern and western Bolivia [Reuters]

Civil defence authorities in Bolivia reported on Tuesday that eight people died after heavy rains, floods and mudslides hit swathes of the country.

Torrential downpours caused rivers to overflow in the departments of La Paz, Santa Cruz, Potosi, Beni, Cochabamba and Tarija. According to reports, some 250 families have been affected by the floods.

Local media reported that mudslides levelled at least 50 homes. In the aftermath, desperate residents scoured their destroyed homes for belongings.

This follows a wet weekend in Peru where heavy rain pounded northern and western parts of the country, causing rivers to burst their banks and highways to flood.

Rain battered the northern town of Tumbes, 1017 kilometres (632 miles) north of Lima, near the Ecuador border. Streets were flooded, cutting off traffic in many parts.

In Junin, 204km (127 miles) east of the capital city of Lima, the rain triggered mudslides causing widespread damage. Many fields were flooded and both the Canchamayo and Perene rivers overflowed.

A resident of Junin complained that emergency services personnel did not respond to calls for help during the worst of the storms which occurred overnight.

“Last night, we were all asking for help but no one came. We called citizen security; we called civil defence – nothing, nothing. They didn’t come until morning when a neighbour’s wall fell,” he said.

Peru is in the midst of its rainy season, which usually extends through April. Similarly, Bolivia’s wet season runs from November until March.

Source : Reuters

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