Rescue ordered for Dutch tourists in Bolivia
Bolivian authorities have ordered the rescue of a family of Dutch tourists stranded near the border with Chile due to heavy snowfall, officials said Sunday.
"A Dutch family is believed to be in Laguna Verde and they cannot leave because snow has shut down the roads," said Felix Gonzalez, governor of Potosi, by phone to AFP.
He said the victims were staying in a hotel in the Laguna Verde area "and authorities are investigating if other tourists are effected."
The central government "sent food, supplies and medicine," said Defense Minister Cecilia Chacon, on the state television channel.
The governor confirmed that the snow has effected "7,000 people" and "41,000 herding animals," especially llamas and alpacas.
For her part, Chacon said that the weather prevented helicopter operations, so it ordered the rescue by land.
The snow has stopped for the moment. "There are slightly cloudy skies and no chance of snow until mid-week," Priscilla Chirinos, a government forecaster on duty in the National Service of Meteorology and Hydrology, told AFP.
Despite the improvement in weather conditions, "a decline in minimum temperatures will continue," said Chirinos. For Monday, temperatures were predicted to reach -4° F (-20° C) and 16° F (-9° C) in Laguna Colorada in Potosi.
© 2011 AFP