The normal rainy season in Bolivia, which began in September 2009, was exacerbated by the El Niño
phenomenon. Increased precipitation led to floods and mudslides which caused 26 deaths and affected 45,572 families. These heavy rains, flooding and mudslides, according to the Vice-Ministry of Civil Defence, additionally affected 7,000 hectares of crops and 14,000 animals.
The Bolivian government declared a national emergency in January 2010. The National Council for Disaster Reduction and Response (CONRADE) activated the municipal and departmental Emergency Operations Centres (EOC) and the Ministry of Health and Sports (MSD), together with the Departmental Health Services (SEDES), coordinated field missions and response operations.
Heavy rains caused major flooding in the departments of Beni, Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, La Paz and Santa Cruz. Red alerts due to increased river levels and flooding were issued in the areas surrounding the Chapare, Chimore, Ichilo and Sajta rivers in Cochabamba department, the Grande river in the Santa Cruz department, the Ibare and Mamore rivers in Beni department and the Bolivar, Chapare, Chimore, Eterazama, La Paz and Sajta rivers in La Paz department. Lower levels of affectation were registered in the departments of Oruro, Potosí and Tarija. (IFRC, 27 August 2010)