Floods in Cobija, Pando, Bolivia, March 2023
© Government of Pando, BoliviaFloods in Cobija, Pando, Bolivia, March 2023.
Flooding has affected thousands of people after the Acre River broke its banks in the northern Pando Department of Bolivia. Further south, the Pirai and Rio Grande rivers have caused flooding in parts of the Santa Cruz department.

Santa Cruz Department

The government of Santa Cruz department reported rising levels of the Pirai and Rio Grande rivers from around 20 March 2023. One person died in the Pirai river in Limoncito in El Torno municipality and another in the Pirai river north of the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Flooding was reported in the city after heavy rain on 23 March. Several people were rescued from the Piraí River in the municipality of Porongo.

Flooding affected areas of the department from mid-January this year. By 05 February had affected 12 municipalities and 3,320 households.

Pando Department

Authorities in Pando Department have helped evacuate at least 150 families living close to the Acre River in the departmental capital, Cobija. many have moved to temporary accommodation in nearby hostels.

The governor of the department, Dr Papito Richter, said Cobija is in a state of emergency. Dozens of trucks and heavy machinery have been deployed to the area to assist in evacuations and delivering relief supplies. The Red Cross reported around 7,000 people affected.

As of 27 March, the Acre river at Cobija stood at 12.13 metres.

Flood evacuations in Cobija, Pando, Bolivia,
© Government of Pando, BoliviaFlood evacuations in Cobija, Pando, Bolivia, March 2023.