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Archive for Wednesday, February 13, 2008

President: Flooding a national disaster

February 13, 2008

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— President Evo Morales declared Bolivia's devastating floods a national disaster on Tuesday, freeing more government funds to confront a crisis his government has linked to global climate change.

Flooding across Bolivia's eastern lowlands has killed 50 people and affected some 43,000 families since November, according to Bolivian officials.

Floodwaters in some places have topped a raised highway protecting Trinidad, where Morales met Monday with local officials.

On Tuesday the sun came out over the besieged provincial capital of 90,000, raising hopes that the waters would spare the city center.

Morales' declaration followed pressure from eastern state governors, his fiercest critics, who had accused the populist president of responding too slowly to the disaster.

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