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Floods and mudslides batter northern Bolivia

Heavy rains continue to lash northern Bolivia. Widespread flooding and mudslides are forcing residents from their homes. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) UNIDENTIFIED BOAT OWNER, SAYING: "Nearly everything is flooded. We have to store our most valuable belongings." The town of Puerto Villaroel was under water after the River Chapare burst its banks. And this resident said the floods are spreading: (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) UNIDENTIFIED RESIDENT, SAYING: "It's flooding here. I arrived from Santa Isabel, which is located further down the river, two days ago, along the river edge." Intense rainfall has affected 20,000 families in four regions. Three people died, and at least seven were reported missing on Sunday.

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