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

 

Flood Summary

Last updated: January 23, 2019
Event
Central and Southern Bolivia, January 2019
Date
January 1 to January 17, 2019
Type
Flash flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall, Long-term rainfall
Around 10,000 people were affected by flooding and heavy rain in Central and Southern Bolivia (Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, Chuquisaca and Tarija departments) in early January. Heavy rain in northern areas also increased river levels in Beni Department.

On 14 January 2019, the Bolivia Civil Defense indicated that the following Municipalities in Cochabamba Department were declared a disaster zone due to heavy rain and floods: Puerto Villarroel, Villa Tunari, Chimore, and Entre Rios. Overall, 7,538 families and 5,438 hectares of agricultural land were affected.

Further heavy rain in Tarija Department from around 16 January caused some flooding in the Province of Burdett O’Connor, in particular in Entre Rios, where two rivers had broken their banks.

Locations

A - Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia
B - La Guardia
C - El Torno
D - Cordillera Province
E - Lagunillas, Santa Cruz, Bolivia
F - Villa Tunari
G - Puerto Villaroel
H - Quechisla, Bolivia
I - Yacuiba
J - Burdett O'Connor Province, Bolivia
K - Viru Viru, Santa Cruz - Rainfall level 82 mm in 24 hours
L - Guayaramerín, Bolivia - Rainfall level 74.9 mm in 24 hours
M - Guayaramerín, Bolivia - Rainfall level 44.6 mm in 24 hours
N - Picolomayo River, Yacuiba Municipality, Tarija Department - River level overflowing metres
O - Cuevo stream, Cordillera Province - River level overflowing metres
P - Tarija - Rainfall level 40.1 mm in 24 hours

Magnitude

Rainfall level
82 mm in 24 hours
Viru Viru, Santa Cruz - December 31, 2018 to January 1, 2019
SENAMHI figures
Rainfall level
74.9 mm in 24 hours
Guayaramerín, Bolivia - January 1 to January 2, 2019
SENAMHI figures
Rainfall level
44.6 mm in 24 hours
Guayaramerín, Bolivia - January 4 to January 5, 2019
SENAMHI figures
River level
Overflowing
Picolomayo River, Yacuiba Municipality, Tarija Department - January 5 to January 7, 2019
River level
Overflowing
Cuevo stream, Cordillera Province - January 2 to January 6, 2019
Rainfall level
40.1 mm in 24 hours
Tarija - January 14 to January 15, 2019
SENAMHI figures

Damages

Affected
10,000
departments of Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, Chuquisaca and Tarija - January 1 to January 10, 2019
Civil defence authorities in Bolivia have reported flooding in several central and southern departments in early January affecting around 10,000 people in the departments of Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, Chuquisaca and Tarija.