The Bolivian government has declared a national emergency after recent flash flooding and landslides killed at least 25 people nationwide as of Thursday, February 28. Heavy rainfall and thunderstorms have affected at least 5200 families in 61 municipalities in Chuquisaca, La Paz, and Potosí. At least 27 people are also still missing. According to Bolivia’s National Weather Service (SENAMHI), forecasts on February 28 indicate that heavy rainfall and thunderstorms are expected across most of the country through Sunday, March 3. Further flooding and landslides are possible.
Flooding is common in Bolivia during the rainy season (October to April) and can result in significant transportation disruptions, structural damage, and loss of life.
Individuals in Bolivia, particularly Chuquisaca, La Paz, and Potosí departments, are advised to monitor local weather reports, anticipate flooding and transportation disruptions, and remember that walking or driving through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater and chemical products; all items having come into contact with floodwater should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded.
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