The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has announced that the La Niña phenomenon is approaching its end, although intensified storms in Colombia over the weekend affected 7,000 new victims.
The latest La Niña episode, which has caused “disastrously wet conditions in certain regions and drought in others,” has ravaged Colombia for the best part of a year but the WMO predicted Monday that the devastating atmospheric phenomenon will soon come to an end and the rest of 2011 should witness “near-neutral conditions.”
Neither La Niña, which is “characterized by unusually cool ocean surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific [Ocean],” nor its warm-temperature opposite, El Niño, are considered an enhanced risk for the remainder 2011.
The WMO, although noting that “the ocean-atmosphere system has a rather low predictability at this time of year,” nevertheless predicts relative tranquility as “the most likely scenario for the second half of 2011.”
This positive news is tempered, however, by intensified storms in the interior of Colombia over the course of the weekend, El Tiempo reported.
In San Jose del Guaviare, Mayor Pedro Arenas’ ominous predictions were fulfilled when the Guaviare River rose by nine meters, placing nearly 10,000 people at risk as it devastated homes and crops.
Relief agencies in the northcentral department of Santander reported finding the body of 16-year-old Johan Sebastian Naranjo in the region’s Gold River.
Meanwhile, operations are underway to dredge the Bogota River in five strategic points, with the purchase of four more dredgers being negotiated, in order to remove some 400,000 cubic meters of sedimentation.
A government press release announced Sunday that is has pledged over $2 billion to address the victims of the rainy season, which has created nearly 500,000 victims since January 2011.