Posted by: Paula Delgado-Kling | May 5, 2011

La Niña is a national emergency

Close to 2,964,389 people, that is 6.4 percent of the entire Colombian population, have been directly affected by the rains of la Niña. Flooding has caused damage in 28 of the country’s 32 departments. At least 69 people were killed in April alone.

The downpours have swept away entire neighborhoods. There are black outs. Rivers and lakes are overflowing and the water continues rising. Cattle find themselves with water up to their knees and their owners are selling them off to the next buyer. Landslides have blocked 16 major roads, some of which have collapsed entirely, and trucks are having a hard time restocking supermaket shelves. Schools and universities have been closed and it is hard to tell when they will reopen.

There has been no pause in rain since October of last year. The national meteorological institute expects the rains to last until June, after which a period of drought is expected to follow.

The total damage is estimated at $5 billion dollars.

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