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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 December, 2003, 10:53 GMT
Bolivia floods kill at least 20
At least 20 people have been killed in flooding following torrential rains in central Bolivia.

Police say 30 other people are missing after rising flood waters destroyed a bridge over the Chapare river.

Among the vehicles swept away by the flood were a bus, a truck and a military vehicle.

President Carlos Mesa flew over the affected area by helicopter and expressed his profound sadness over the loss of human life.

Mr Mesa said he was considering declaring a state of emergency.

The disaster happened near the town of Villa Tunari, about 630 kilometres (390 miles) south-east of La Paz.

Local authorities said the 350-metre (1,150 feet) bridge collapsed as four vehicles were attempting to cross it.

Bolivian television said the bodies of 20 people had been recovered before rescue operations were suspended for the night.

The heavy floods have also damaged a main highway that passes through the region and which carries much of Bolivia's road traffic.

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Timeline: Bolivia
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