Flooding sparked by torrential rains has been reported in various parts of the country, notably in river-adjacent areas. As of early Tuesday, February 13, a total of 9600 families have reportedly been affected by flooding nationwide.
SENAMHI, the national weather service, has placed 20 municipalities on “emergency” alert and declared 14 others as disaster areas. A total of 64 municipalities - across eight of the country’s nine departments (all except Pando, located in the extreme north of the country) - are currently under orange alerts, the second highest level.
Continued rain is forecast for much of the country over the coming days, which could aggravate flooding.
Flooding is common in Bolivia, particularly during the rainy season (October to April), and can result in significant transportation disruptions, structural damage, and loss of life. Tens of thousands of people have been affected by the rains thus far this season in Bolivia, which have been persistent since November 2017.
Individuals present in Bolivia are advised to monitor local weather reports and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities. Remember that driving or walking 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 or chemical products; all items having come into contact with the water should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded.