Colombia takes third place in a list of countries most affected by extreme weather in 2010, according to European NGO, Germanwatch.
it joins Pakistan, which has recently seen the worst flooding in the country’s history, and Guatemala, which has experienced devastating hurricanes, to top this year’s Germanwatch Climate Risk Index.
The annual league table lists countries most at risk of extreme weather, which the NGO says will get worse as climate change progresses. Countries on the list need to do more to shore up defenses against floods, storms, drought and heatwaves, it believes.
The NGO warned that Colombia needs to strengthen its defenses against winter rains which this year have left over two million people without homes.
Santander Governor Horacio Serpa told Caracol Radio, “We are in a difficult situation, more than 30,000 hectares (74,132 acres) of crops have been flooded… and we can’t control the course of the rivers that caused this emergency.”
Serpa also said that three influential environmental corporations in the area have been reluctant to “advance works” which would control rising tributary levels. He stressed the importance that aid gets through soon because the people living in the region have lost what little they had to begin with.
Meanwhile, in the department of Cordoba, the Cauca and San Jorge rivers have risen, causing flooding in multiple municipalities. The town of Ayapel was hit the worst by the rising rivers as more than 4,700 families have been affected.
A landslide also blocked the road from Cucuta to Pamplona at Kilometer 96 early Monday morning. A bus and a semi truck were buried for over 10 hours before the road was re-opened.