Bolivia – Heavy Rainfall in Beni and Santa Cruz, Landslide in La Paz

Intense rain affected northern areas of Bolivia on Saturday 27 February 2016. A landslide in an area of La Paz has damaged several houses and forced almost 30 people from their homes.

In Beni Department, 151.4 mm of rain recorded in 24 hours at Rurrenabaque. During the same period, high levels were also recorded in San Borja (57.6 mm), San Ignacio de Moxos (72 mm) and Trinidad (61.9 mm), all in Beni Department, while 58 mm was recorded in Viru-Viru, in the bordering Santa Cruz Department.

La Paz recently experienced flash floods. A torrential rainstorm hit the city of La Paz on the 24 February 2016, causing a flash flood after the overflow of the Huayñajahuira River, a tributary of the Choqueyapu River.

Torrential rain affected the city once again, this time on Saturday 27 February, resulting in a landslide in Jupapina-Mallasa, a less urbanised district in the southern area of La Paz Municipality.

The city is well known to be prone to major hydro-geological issues, given its peculiar geomorphological conformation (a canyon created by the Choqueyapu River) and its rapid urbanisation on or near to steep slopes.

According to the Municipal Secretary of Risk Management of the city of La Paz (Secretaria Municipal de Gestión de Riesgos de La Paz) the landslide occurred on Saturday 27 at 21:00.

As many as 15 houses have been damaged by the landslide, affecting 29 people who have been evacuated by the local authorities.

Landslide are common in La Paz. One of the worst in living memory struck in February 2011, which was described as a “mega-mudslide” when as many as 500 homes were destroyed and 5,000 people evacuated.

Area of the February 2011 La Paz landslide. Photo: Senorhorst Jahnsen Under CC BY 2.0
Area of the February 2011 La Paz landslide. Photo: Senorhorst Jahnsen Under CC BY 2.0

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