Persistent, heavier-than-normal rains throughout February and March 2008 triggered flooding across parts of northern and central South America. La Niña conditions in the Pacific may have caused the unusual rainfall. February falls in the middle of the rainy season, and flooding is not unusual, but the effects were enhanced by the cooler-than-normal ocean surface temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific that are associated with La Niña. As of March 7, the flooding had been blamed for at least 52 fatalities in Bolivia, 19 in Peru, and 16 in Ecuador, said news reports.
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