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Bolivia pledges aid to thousands left homeless by 'mega-mudslide'

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • The mudslide followed nearly a day of uninterrupted rainfall
  • "Something is changing on the planet," Bolivian President Evo Morales says
  • Report: Victims are struggling to salvage their belongings
  • Construction along steep hillsides is common in the nation's capital
  • Bolivia

(CNN) -- Bolivia's president pledged that his government will build new houses for thousands of people who are homeless after a "mega-mudslide" triggered by heavy rainfall in the nation's capital, state media reported.

Nearly a day of uninterrupted downpours caused the Sunday mudslide, the state-run ABI news agency reported.

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"Natural phenomena unfortunately are causing a lot of damage. Something is changing on the planet," Bolivian President Evo Morales said, according to a statement posted on the La Paz government website Monday.

The homes of at least 4,000 people were destroyed, ABI said.

Victims left homeless by the disaster struggled to salvage their belongings Monday, ABI said. A massive crack in the ground split a cemetery in two, leaving bones exposed beside crucifixes and cracked headstones.

The news agency said construction along steep hillsides has become common as La Paz expands beyond the valley where it was founded in 1548.