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Catastrophic landslide, caught on video, leaves entire neighborhood buried in Bolivia

By Manuel Crespo Feliciano, Accuweather en Español staff writer
May 02, 2019, 12:23:52 PM EDT

At least five people have been reported missing in La Paz, Bolivia, after a massive landslide completely buried the hillside of the San Jorge Kantutani neighborhood in the Bolivian capital.

According to the authorities, at least 66 homes and commercial buildings were affected by the landslides caused by leaks of rainwater in the mountains surrounding the region.

"So far, 66 houses have been completely destroyed, 88 families have been affected and 338 people have been affected, we have three people missing and two to be confirmed, and nobody has been rescued," said police general commander Yuri Calderón in a press conference.

The affected area, which had been evicted on previous occasions, corresponds to what used to be a former public garbage dump where several urban settlements that did not have the proper building permits had been established, according to the EL PAÍS newspaper.

The rescue work will be resumed once the soil of the area stabilizes and it is safe for the rescuers to enter the place of the landslide.

However, according to AccuWeather's forecast, the capital city of Bolivia will be spoiled by scattered showers during the next few days, which may make it difficult to rescue those affected.

As anticipated by AccuWeather's Fall Forecast for South America, this meteorological pattern will be common in many areas of South America located south of the equator this fall and will be intensified by the direct effects of the El Niño phenomenon.

This will increase heavy downpours and the risk of flash floods.

“Weak El Niño conditions should result in several opportunities for rainfall across Ecuador and Peru into the Amazon Basin of Brazil with rainfall expected to average near to above normal,” AccuWeather International Forecasting Manager Jason Nicholls said.

El Niño is a part of a routine climate pattern that occurs when sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean rise to above-normal levels for an extended period of time. This can influence weather patterns across the globe.

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