Colombia’s record-breaking rains have now claimed six lives, with over 8,600 people affected by the country’s extreme weather conditions, EFE reported Thursday.
According to the latest statistics from Colombia’s national disaster prevention office, heavy rains, windstorms and landslides have affected 8,631 people in 52 municipalities around the country.
The victims of the extreme weather are located in eighteen of the country’s 32 departments, with the worst-affected being Tolima, Cundinamarca, Boyaca, Huila, Nariño, Atlantic, Antioquia, Meta, Cordoba, Valle del Cauca, Risaralda, Casanare, Cauca and Putumayo.
Bogota’s local government on Wednesday declared a health emergency as a preventative measure, and is encouraging public and private health care providers to strengthen their response capacity. This will involve taking measures to increase their number of beds, amount of staff, and material needed to care for patients with respiratory illnesses.
The start of the current rainy season, Colombia’s first of the year, was declared on 6 April by the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (IDEAM), which predicts that heavy rainfall will continue until the end of June.