Heat waves scorched 500 acres of land this week, raising fears of more severe heat in February.
Cesar Urena, Director of Red Cross Colombia, told local media that municipalities in nine departments located in the central, north, and pacific coast regions “have been most affected by this emergency.”
The Director of the National Unit for Disaster Risk Management expected temperatures to peak in February, and cautioned local mayors to guard against water shortages and forest fires.
In mid-2012, the World Bank issued a $250 million development policy loan in order to support natural disaster-related risk management, money that may become necessary come February.
According to the World Bank, over the last forty years disasters have resulted in $7.1 billion worth of damages and left 10,000 people dead across Colombia. In 2010 and 2011, floods affected 3.5 million mostly low-income inhabitants around the country.
Colombia reportedly has suffered more than any other Latin American country from recurring natural disasters.