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Bolivia: Floods - Feb 2020

Disaster types
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Flooding was triggered by heavy rain in La Paz Department (central-western Bolivia) on 9 February. According to media reports, as of 10 February, the overflow of Torrentera river caused one death and destroyed at least 12 houses and several roads. More than 50 families have been affected by the event, with the worst-hit areas Achocalla and Alto Irpavi municipalities. (ECHO, 10 Feb 2020)

Heavy rain has been affecting northern and western Bolivia and Peru, triggering river overflow, floods and mudslides. In Bolivia, media report 8 deaths, 250 families affected and 50 houses destroyed across La Paz, Santa Cruz, Potosi, Beni, Cochabamba, and Tarija Departments. (ECHO, 13 Feb 2020)

On 14 February 2020, the Bolivia Government Information Agency declared a disaster zone for Luribay Municipality, La Paz Department, due to heavy rain and river flooding that has affected 500 families, 30 households, and 1,050 hectares of agricultural land. In addition, media reported this rainy season overall has affected eight of nine regions of the country were 6,423 families suffered injuries. To date, 17 deaths have been registered. (PAHO, 14 Feb 2020)

As of 21 February, one person reportedly died in Potosi City, while the worst hit areas are La Paz, Potosi, Santa Cruz and Cochabamba departments. According to national authorities, the severe weather has caused 19 fatalities and has affected at least 10,727 families. More than 414 houses have been destroyed and approximately 11,000 livestock affected. Several municipalities remain isolated, while a landslide caused the closure of the Cochabamba-Santa Cruz highway. A state of emergency was declared for La Paz Department. The level of several rivers across Bolivia has increased, and red alerts for river water level have been issued for the Maniqui and Secure Rivers (central Bolivia). On 21 February, red alerts for heavy rainfall and thunderstorms remain in force for Beni and La Paz departments. (ECHO, 21 Feb 2020)

The Minister of Defence reported on 26 February that the number of families affected has climbed to 11,669, as torrential rainfalls continue to affect Bolivia. Floods and landslides have also left 3,913 families homeless, while affected municipalities now total 72. The Government is working across all affected areas in the country, including 16 municipalities who have declared a state of emergency. UN agencies and Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) members are supporting Government response. (OCHA, 2 Mar 2020)