Bolivia Mourns Lives And Property Lost In Record-Breaking Storm

Bolivia Mourns Lives And Property Lost In Record-Breaking Storm

Men trying to rescue their car during the flood. Photo credit: Correo del Sur


Monday evening left many residents of the nation's historic capital reeling when a combination of heavy rains and hail created sudden and deadly flash flooding. This was in addition to the category 1 hurricane wind gusts that gripped the city for several hours.

Cars and buses trapped in a narrow street near San Juanillo. Photo credit: Correo del Sur

Storm of the century

The storm took the lives of 4 people and left 12 hospitalized for related injuries. Hundreds of residents suffered property damage, including the complete loss of small businesses such as market stalls and kiosks. Local climate experts claimed it was the worst storm the department of Chuquisaca has seen since 1997. While the city of Sucre is known for its tempests in the summer months, this was beyond what locals could have imagined.

Damaged kiosk and goods near Campesino Market. Photo credit: Autumn Spredemann

Residents describe the carnage

A local woman told Democracy News Live's reporter, "It looked like a tsunami," when describing the flooding near the area of San Juanillo. Another area resident said, "It's devastating, really. Some people don't want to talk about it at all, they probably lost everything."

Videos quickly emerged on social media of the disaster unfolding. Some horrifying footage included a man and his son trapped inside a city bus amid rising flood waters and a police officer trying to resuscitate a drowned man on the sidewalk.

Police controlling access to the worst affected area near San Juanillo. Photo credit: Autumn Spredemann

President Arce assures help is on the way

The newly elected President Luis Arce was quick to respond with affirmations of assistance in coordination with the departmental officials of Chuquisaca. On his Twitter account, Arce said that 15 tons of food and supplies were being coordinated for the victims of the tragedy in Sucre.

Photo credit: Twitter

Autumn Spredemann

Autumn Spredemann

Autumn Spredemann is a Latin America correspondent and an experienced traveling journalist who has worked for international publications like Bolivian Express and Transcontinental Times. Having lived and traveled in a total of 35 countries, Autumn specializes in remote cultures and elusive stories you won't find elsewhere. In her spare time, she's usually climbing mountains, swimming, running, or blasting across the countryside on the back of a motorcycle.

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