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Last Updated: Thursday January 24 2008 12:56 GMT

Mudslides destroy Bolivian homes

Homes damaged by the mudslide

People living in the South American country of Bolivia have been left homeless after mudslides swept away their homes and belongings.

Since November, the whole country has been battered by heavy rain and flooding, with 27 people dying because of the bad weather.

In the middle of the night on Tuesday, a river near the capital La Paz burst its banks, causing the earth to move.

Around 25 homes were destroyed, with another 20 badly damaged.

People living there felt the ground moving, and shouted out to each other to leave the area.

Resident Simon La Fuente said: "The earth started to creak strongly. I went out and when I saw my patio it was all cracked.

Children eating and drinking
People returned to their homes to try and save what they could
"Then I went out and started to yell at my neighbours to get out their homes."

The next day people returned to their homes to try and save anything they could.

A weather phenomenon called La Niņa is being blamed for the heavy rains which have been falling on the whole country for months.

La Niņa is set off by changes in ocean temperatures, and was also blamed for the fires and flooding in Australia last week.

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