Over 50 people lost their lives just this past week due to the devastating heavy rain. The rains are blamed on the La Niña weather phenomenon that already caused extensive damage and left more than 300 dead in Colombia in 2010.
President Juan Manuel Santos told Colombians to listen to authorities and act with precaution to avoid further disasters, such as the land slide that washed away a bus carrying 18 passengers on Wednesday.
“Go to sites that have been advised, but with caution. Do not travel when it rains. And if the authorities give warning about a road, do not travel on that road,” said President Santos.
The Head of State also called on the mayors and governors of the country to put into action the risk management office and be in constant contact with the authorities. “I know it’s going to be difficult, but if we coordinate and if we act responsibly and act with caution, we will be able to overcome this disaster,” he said.
The departments of Cundinamarca, Boyaca, Caldas, Tolima y Huila especially have been put on high alert due to their close proximity to the Magdalena River which is flowing heavily after the opening of dam gates at Bethany.