LA PAZ – President Evo Morales declared a state of emergency Wednesday in Bolivia, where torrential rains have killed 10 people and affected 9,000 families in the Amazonian region near the borders with Brazil and Peru.
The emergency declaration opens the way for the release of funds needed to assist victims, Defense Minister Ruben Saavedra said.
Bolpebra, a town in the Amazonian province of Pando, was devastated by the torrential rains, which caused the Acre River to overflow its banks, Saavedra said.
The river also flooded Cobija, the capital of Pando, the defense minister said.
Only the roofs of houses are visible in many sections of the city, where people are getting around by boat.
About 1,000 families forced from their homes by the rains and flooding arrived in Cobija on Wednesday.
The floodwaters from the Acre, which has its source in Peru, caused “destruction” in the Amazon, but no lives were lost in the region, Morales said Tuesday.
The 7-year-old bridge linking Cobija to the Brazilian city of Brasilea is in danger of being wiped out by the rains, the worst in 30 years. EFE