Posted by: Paula Delgado-Kling | December 28, 2010

La Niña Brings Devastating Floods

More than two million Colombians have been impacted, including 279 who have been killed, by the disastrous winter the country is suffering during this Holiday Season. It is the worst rain in nearly four decades.

The most vulnerable are the internally displaced, over 4 million of them, the second highest number worldwide after Sudan. They live in poorly constructed shelters, in shanty towns, and in crowded slums, often along hillsides and river banks, which are especially vulnerable to floods and mudslides. Worse yet, these families may be facing secondary and even tertiary displacement.

President Santos declared a state of “economic, social and ecologic emergency.” The worst affected regions are Córdoba, Sucre and Chocó in the north of the country, and riverside communities along the swollen Magdalena, Cauca, San Jorge, Sinu and Atrato Rivers.

The flooding is a result of the La Niña meteorological phenomenon, which causes a fall in the water temperature of the Pacific Ocean, and triggers heavy winds and strong rains.

The flooding has also been catastrophic for agriculture and livestock.

Donations can be made through  the Oxfam website.

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