Bolivia – 20 Feared Missing After Floods in Tarija

As many as 20 people are feared missing after flash floods in Tarija department in south-eastern Bolivia.

Floods Tairja Bolivia February 2022. Photo: Gobierno Autónomo Departamental de Tarija

Civil Defence reported heavy rain caused the overflow of the Itayuro stream in the municipality of Entre Ríos, Burdett O’Connor Province, Tarija on 20 February 2022. In a report of 22 February, Bolivia Red Cross said at least 20 people were missing and 4 had died.

Red Cross said heavy rainfall which began late on 20 February caused a torrent of water, mud and debris which reached a height of more than two meters, slid down a narrow ravine, destroying homes, crops and livestock of the Guarani communities of Tomatirenda, Filadelfia, Palmarito, Ñaurenda, Saladito de Ñaurenda, Moko Mokal, Itayuru and Timboy.

According to Red Cross figures, 40 people were injured, 23 houses destroyed and a further 80 were damaged. A total of 2,500 people have been displaced.

Power and water infrastructure has been damaged, leaving many without electricity or drinking water. Civil Defence said 90% of the roads in the region were also damaged. Relief supplies are being delivered to isolated communities by helicopter. Some rescue teams walked for hours to reach affected areas.

The Vice Minister of Civil Defence, Juan Carlos Calvimontes, said it is the biggest disaster of the current rainy season.

Elsewhere in the country, recent heavy rain has caused flooding and damage to homes in Quillacollo municipality in Cochabamba; the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Santa Cruz department where several people were rescued; and in the municipality of Irupana, La Paz Department, where 1 person was reported missing and around 20 families affected.

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