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LAST_UPDATESat, 23 Jun 2018 4pm

Bolivia Declares State Of Emergency Due To Intense Rainfall

LA PAZ -- The Bolivian government declared a state of emergency on Wednesday due to intense rains have caused flooding, the loss of crops and the death of livestock, as well as damage to homes and infrastructure.

At a press conference, President Evo Morales said that all levels of government were coordinating their actions to address the situation.

He said the measure "allows the moving of economic resources for the families affected by floods."

The city of Tiquipaya in the central department of Cochabamba awoke to widespread destruction on Wednesday, due to massive landslides caused by torrential downpours.

Neighbors waited for the light of day to search for loved ones and belongings in Tiquipaya, where rubble cluttered streets and houses, as rescue workers continued to search for the missing.

At the press conference, the deputy minister for civil defense, Carlos Bru, said the situation is affecting various regions.

"The most difficult is concentrated in (the northern areas of) El Chapare, Beni and a large part of Pando. The rivers are rising constantly, and if they overflow, the possibility of floods is virtually imminent," he warned.

In the south of the country, the situation is also worrying with the ceaseless rain having affected the cities of Tupiza, Villamontes and Yacuiba.

In Tupiza, the situation is critical since its river, of the same name, has damaged at least 45 houses and displaced dozens of families.

Bru said that the government would also be providing the necessary budget to prepare for future climate events. This will include every state and municipality having their budget for emergency management.

However, weather forecast shows moderate rain will continue to affect much of Bolivia for the rest of the week.

--BERNAMA-NNN-XINHUA