Bolivia – Hundreds Evacuated After Floods in Pando

Flooding in Pando Department of Bolivia has prompted hundreds of people to evacuate their homes.

Rivers in the department, including the Madre de Dios and Tahuamanu, have been high since late February. The Bolivian Navy assisted the evacuation of around 200 people affected by floods in Porvenir, Bolivia, on 22 February.

Madre de Dios River El Sena, Pando, Bolivia February 2021. Image: SENAMHI
Tahuamanu River Porvenir, Pando, Bolivia February 2021. Image: SENAMHI

Recent heavy rain has worsened the situation, causing flooding in low lying areas of Cobija municipality. National Meteorology and Hydrology Service of Bolivia (SENAMHI) reported 95.3mm of rain in Cobija on 09 March 2021. Navy and Civil Defence carried out further evacuations in the municipality on 08 March. Around 107 families have been displaced.

The city of Cobija is situated on the Acre River, along the border with Acre State of Brazil, which also saw widespread flooding in late February. However, according to the Geological Survey of Brazil (CPRM), the Acre River is below alert levels in all locations in Acre State, including the city of Brasiléia, neighbour of Bolivia’s Cobija.

Acre River at Brasiléia, Acre, Brazil, March 2021. Image: Serviço Geológico do Brasil (CPRM). Brazil.

2020 to 2021 Rainy Season in Bolivia

In a recent statement, Bolivia’s Vice Ministry of Civil Defence said 9 people have died, 1 is missing and 1,762 homes damaged as a result of severe weather during this the recent rainy season that began in November 2020. Twenty-five municipalities have declared an emergency and 53,949 families have been affected. Authorities have distributed relief supplies to 15,643 families.

Furthermore, 327,180 hectares of crops have been damaged, mostly in Santa Cruz department . Over 3,000 head of cattle were affected by flooding in Beni Department.

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