Ninety-three Colombians have died and 12 are missing because of floods and landslides caused by this year’s first rainy season, said the Red Cross Friday. The latest victims are two children who were buried under a landslide just north of Medellin.
According to the aid agency, the extreme weather has left 52 injured and has damaged the homes or lands of more than 130,000 Colombians.
Twenty-four of the country’s 32 departments have dealt with emergency situations following the torrential rains that began in February, only weeks after the disastrous rainy season of last year that killed more than 300 and left more than $5 billion in damages to private properties and infrastructure.
According to meteorologists, the extreme rains are the result of weather phenomenon La Niña, which also caused last year’s extreme rainy season. The meteorologists warn that the worst of the rainy season is yet to come and may last until June.
The Red Cross expressed its concern about the water levels of the Magdalena river, which is the country’s largest rivers and goes from the south of the country to the Caribbean sea. Regions around other rivers are on high flood alert after torrential rains caused great parts of the cities Bogota and Cali to flood and are threatening to flood even larger areas particularly in the north where the Magdalena meets with the Cauca river.
Santos has already announced that the extreme rainfall has exhausted the capabilities of the state.