WASHINGTON — Wine makers in Bolivia’s Bolghers, the poorest region in the country, said Thursday that they would reopen on Saturday, the second day of the rainy season, after the city was struck by a flash flood that killed dozens of people.
The Bolgheres wine producers and wineries, whose businesses are mostly located in the southern city of Bolger, were forced to close as rain pounded the region.
They say they will reopen by the end of the day.
The region, which was hit by devastating floods in 2016, has seen a surge in the number of cases of cholera, a disease that can be fatal.
Wines, especially sparkling wines, are among the most expensive in the world.
Bolger has a large number of vineyards, many of which have long-standing contracts with winemakers, and some are owned by foreign investors.
In a statement, Bolger wineries said they would take advantage of the chance to reopen with the help of local authorities.
They said they have had many visitors during the flood, but are now ready to continue to provide support for the people of Bolghes.
They have been working very hard to find the solution of the situation.
And we believe that we will be able to reopen this weekend,” said the statement by Bolger-based Bolgera wineries.
Bolger was hit the hardest by the flood last summer.
It had to shut its entire vineyard operation, and most of its wineries were forced out.
The state of Bolívar, which has a population of about 3 million, has also suffered major damage due to the flooding.
Bolivian President Evo Morales declared a state of emergency and has been working to recover the areas affected by the flooding, which have been the worst in recent years.
A large number a people, including several people in the wine industry, have died in the region since the floods last year.
More than a dozen people have died since January 2016 in the Bolghe region, according to the Bolgeran government.