Bolivia – Flooding Reported in Central and Southern Areas

Civil defence authorities in Bolivia have reported flooding in several central and southern departments over the last 7 days. Around 10,000 people have been affected in the departments of Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, Chuquisaca and Tarija.

Meanwhile Servicio Nacional de Meteorología e Hidrología (SENAMHI) has issued a red alert for the Isiboro River in Beni Department.

floods in Cochabamba, Bolivia, January 2019. Photo: Civil Defence Bolivia

Santa Cruz

Heavy rain in Santa Cruz Department during the first days of January caused flooding in Santa Cruz City, La Guardia, and El Torno. Flood water up to 50cm deep was reported in some homes and several families were evacuated. According to SENAMHI, the weather station at Santa Cruz Viru Viru recorded 82 mm of rain in 24 hours on 01 January.

Elsewhere in the department, flooding was reported in Cordillera Province after the Cuevo stream overflowed. Local media also reported that more than 600 families were affected by flooding in Lagunillas Municipality, Santa Cruz department.

Cochabamba, Chuquisaca and Tarija

Further heavy rain from around 06 January damaged crops in Villa Tunari and Puerto Villaroel Municipalities, Cochabamba Department.

Heavy rain and flooding damaged around 50 homes and several streets in Quechisla District in Chuquisaca Department. Hundreds of families were affected.

In Tarija Department heavy rain caused the Picolomayo River to overflow, affecting 4,700 people in Yacuiba Municipality.

Beni River Alerts

According to SENAMHI, several rivers in Beni Department are currently at Orange Alert level, with many still rising.

The Isiboro River near Gundonovia is currently a Red Alert level. SENAMHI said flooding is possible in areas close to the towns of Gundonovia, San Miguelito de Isiboro, Puerto San Francisco, Santa Rosa, San Pablo, Nueva Vida and Santa Teresa from 08 to 12 January, 2019.

As of 05 January, the Isiboro River near Gundonovia stood at 9.35 metres, above the danger mark of 8.25 metres.

Guayaramerín in Beni Department recorded 74.9 mm of rain in 24 hours on 02 January and 44.6 mm on 05 January.

Levels of the Isiboro river near Gundonovia, Beni, Bolivia, January 2019. Image: SENAMHI
River alerts in Beni and neighbouring departments in Bolivia, January 2019. Image: SENAMHI