Sunday, February 7, 2010

Flooding Worsens: 11 Dead, over 100,000 Fleeing

Bolivia's Civil Defense reported February 6th, that some 28, 000 families (thus over 100,000 individuals) have been displaced by flooding and natural disasters during this particularly harsh rainy season and 11 deaths have been reported so far. 
Minister of Defense Rubén Saavedra Soto announced that 2 large Hercules aircraft from the Bolivian Air Force have been loaded with 13 tons of vital food and necessities and been flown to the affect populations in the Bolivian Amazon. In the Cochabamba state there are some 12,000 families in the lowlying Amazonian areas that have been left homeless including critically threatened indigenous groups such as the Yuracarés and Yukis who have abandoned their villages and are pleading for help from regional authorities.
Cochabamba's Chief of Civil Defense Colonel Maximiliano Morales informed the press that they have identified some 300 people trapped on the roofs of their houses in the Cochabamban Amazon. Help is being very slow to arrive to flooded communities such as Chimoré, Entre Ríos, Puerto Villarroel, Shinahota y Villa Tunari because multiple large rivers have cut off road access to these towns. The major road between Cochabamba and Santa Cruz is open but threatened by several rivers and potential land slides. Similar conditions exist across Amazonian Bolivia where over one hundred thousand people are fighting for their homes and their lives amid devastating El Niño floods.
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