Floods cause national emergency in Bolivia

Feb. 12, 2008 at 9:28 PM
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LA PAZ, Bolivia, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Weeks of storms and flooding that have left at least 60 people dead led Bolivian President Evo Morales to declare a national disaster Tuesday.

Northeastern Bolivia has been particularly hard-hit. The water was flowing through the streets of Trinidad where people where paddling canoes to get around, CNN reported.

Officials say more than 43,000 people have been flooded out of their homes and another five people were reported missing, the U.S. network said.

"What are we going to do with nature?" asked Ovidio Suarez, one of those left homeless in Beni. "We can't blame anyone. Let's see how much God wants to punish us. Because this is a punishment he is giving."

International relief efforts were under way, with helicopters from Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela transporting supplies to the afflicted regions. Donations from the United States were going toward setting up shelters, CNN said.

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