Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos on Thursday declared a state of public calamity in 28 of the country’s 32 departments to deal with emergencies caused by this year’s rainy season, which has caused the death of 136 Colombians so far.
The government plans to decree other measures in the coming days that will help authorities to release emergency funds for the victims of floods and landslides that damages the houses or land of 1.3 million people.
The United States government on Thursday announced it would pay $50,000 as the first of a number of payments to help Colombia deal with what is called the worst rainy season in 60 years.
Earlier this week, Santos warned that the Colombian government has reached its financial limits to deal with the emergencies and called on the international community and private sector to donate money for victim relief.
This rainy season started in March and is expected to last until 2011. According to meteorologists, the prolonged rains are the result of meteorological phenomenon “La Niña.”