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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 February 2008, 22:04 GMT
Bolivia floods misery continues
Child in flooded street in Trinidad, Bolivia 13/2/08
Many tens of thousands have been forced from their homes
The Bolivian authorities estimate that some 60,000 families across the country have been affected by severe flooding, which has followed weeks of heavy rain.

The flood waters, which have killed at least 60 people, are threatening to inundate the Amazon city of Trinidad, sparking large-scale evacuations.

The government has declared a state of emergency in the worst-hit areas.

The rains, which have swept away crops and communication lines, are blamed on the La Nina weather phenomenon.

La Nina is a periodic cooling of the waters in the Pacific Ocean, which results in severe weather conditions.

However, it is the second year in a row that Bolivia has seen such floods and officials are saying that climate change is also to blame.

Since November, several parts of Bolivia have suffered floods.

Food and tents

The United Nations says the flooding is expected to get worse as more rain is forecast.

Map

Rivers have broken their banks and floodwaters are threatening to breach a raised road surrounding the provincial capital of Trinidad, home to some 90,000 people.

The government has been distributing food and tents in Trinidad, while rescue teams backed by helicopters from Brazil have been stepping up operations, a presidential spokesman said.

President Evo Morales toured the worst-hit province, Beni, on Monday where thousands of people have had to leave their homes.

He declared the area a disaster zone, so authorising the release of funds to help tackle the crisis.

The president had been under pressure to act from opposition governors in the eastern states, who had accused him of reacting too slowly.

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Aerial footage of the flooding



SEE ALSO
In pictures: Bolivia floods
10 Feb 08 |  In Pictures
Thousands hit by Bolivian floods
06 Feb 08 |  Americas
Aid arrives in flood-hit Bolivia
24 Feb 07 |  Americas
Country profile: Bolivia
18 Jan 08 |  Country profiles

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