The number of people affected by this year’s rainy season in Colombia has been raised to 1.5 million, the government said Wednesday.
According to a report by the Interior and Justice Ministry, 167 people have died because of floods and landslides caused by the heavy rains, while 19 people are still missing and 1,821 homes have been destroyed.
The ministry says that almost two-thirds of the country’s municipalities are dealing with emergencies, and that the situation is most alarming in the northern and eastern areas of the country.
A red alert was issued over a dam in the central Tolima department, because it “has reached the allowable limit.”
President Juan Manuel Santos has declared this year’s rainy season – the worst in 60 years – a national disaster and called on the foreign community and private sector to help governmental aid agencies and the Red Cross to take care of the victims.