The Heat Is Online

Bolivian floods Feb. 1997

"Bolivia Rains kill 16 and Wipe Out Crops," The New York Times, March 5, 1997

La Paz, BOLIVIA (AP) -- The heaviest rains in 30 years have flooded Bolivia's tropical lwlands, killing at least 16 and wiping out the crops of 100,000 farmers...

Thousands of acres of farmland in the lowlands, which cover more than half the country, have been flooded, destroying soybean, corn and cotton fields. Tens of thousands of cattle have drowned, according to Agricultural Ministry officials.

Initial losses were estimated at $25 million, but the figure was expected to rise, officials said. The government has declared a national emergency and pledged $35 million to help flood victims.

Health officials reported sharp increases in cases of malaria and yellow fever, diseases spread by mosquitoes that thrive in water-soaked regions.

The rains, which began,last month, showed no sign of easing today. Flooding has dsrupted road and air links between LaPaz and the northern states of Pando and Beni, forcing the government to send emergency spplies by river boat and helicoper.