Friday, January 29, 2010

Floods prompt Bolivia emergency

BBC: Bolivian President Evo Morales has declared a state of emergency in areas of the country, as heavy rains and floods affect some 24,000 families. The worst-hit areas are La Paz, Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, Chuquisaca and Beni. The flooding is expected to get worse as more rain is forecast.

Rivers have broken their banks and overflowed. There have been mudslides. Meanwhile rescuers in Peru renewed efforts to evacuate tourists trapped near the Inca site of Machu Picchu. Rain and mudslides there have severed road and rail links in the region.

However, a break in the weather has now allowed the authorities to send in helicopters to ferry out several thousand tourists. The operation is expected to end by the weekend….The rains, which have swept away crops, livestock and communication lines, are blamed on the El Nino weather phenomenon which results in severe weather conditions across the Asia-Pacific region and beyond….

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