Floods devastate Latin America
Torrential rains have caused widespread flooding in southern Ecuador, eastern Bolivia and northern Argentina, with nearly 50 people killed and thousands made homeless, triggering international humantarian aid to the region.
In Bolivia, where some 45 people have been killed by incessant flooding since November, Japanese Ambassador Mitsunori Shirakawa on Saturday presented President Evo Morales with $121,000 (Dh441,650) worth of food and first aid equipment for flood victims.
It is estimated that more than 30,000 families have been affected by the floods, with thousands evacuated from their homes in Bolivia's lowlands.
In Ecuador, divil defense officials have reported two children killed when they were swept away by turbulent rivers in the southern region, where thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes.
Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa flew over the worst flooded areas in Esmeraldas and Canar provinces on Thursday. He promised initial government aid of $10 million (Dh36.5 million) to help flood victims and begin infrastructure repairs especially to roads.
In northern Argentina, the Pilcomayo and other rivers flowing from waterlogged Bolivia have overflowed their banks leaving some 4,000 people stranded and forcing more than 100 to flee their homes.
Salta province Civil Protection undersecretary Gustavo Paul said the situation had improved on Saturday but warned of "the possibility of more flooding due to the persistent rain in southern Bolivia." (AFP)
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