Bolivia – Dozens Rescued After Rivers Overflow in Cochabamba

Overflowing rivers have caused flooding in several areas of Cochabamba Department in central Bolivia over the last few days.

Flood rescues in Cochabamba, Bolivia, April 2021. Photo: Civil Defence Bolivia

Civil Defence and the Bolivian Navy evacuated families in the municipality of Ivirgarzama and surrounding areas after flooding began from late 23 April 2021.

Flooding also blocked parts of the Cochabamba – Santa Cruz highway (National Route 4) at the Chimoré-Ivirgarzama sector, causing major transport disruptions. A bus and several other vehicles were trapped in the waters and than 50 passengers and motorists had to be rescued.

Other municipalities in the department have also been affected according to the regional government. Around 1,000 families were affected in the municipality of Omereque and 500 families in Raqaypampa municipality. Over 900 hectares of crops were also damaged in the two municipalities. Parts of Aiquile municipality were also flooded.

Civil Defence reported on 24 April that the Ichilo River in Puerto Villarroel Municipality broke its banks on 24 April 2021.

Flooding had earlier affected areas of the municipality of Chimoré, Cochabamba, where Civil Defence delivered relief supplies to 2,371 affected families on 22 April.

Bolivia’s meteorological agency Servicio Nacional de Meteorología E Hidrología (SENAMHI) issued Orange level alerts for the Ichilo, Ivirgarzama, Chimoré, Ichadoa and Eterazama rivers in the department lasting until at least 27 April 2021. Alerts were also issued for rivers in the neighbouring department of Santa Cruz for the Ichilo and Víbora rivers.

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