Colombia’s extreme and prolonged rainy season has caused the deaths of 116 people, and serious injury to 87 more, in the four months since January 2011, the Colombian government announced.
The Risk Management Department of the Interior and Justice Ministry also reported, according to Spanish news agency EFE, that the total death count since April 2010 has reached 444, while the number gravely injured in this time period has reached 524, throughout nearly all of Colombia.
According to the ministry, the total number of people affected by the rains is now at 3.2 million, constituting some 759,552 families, with 74 people having been reported as disappeared.
The country’s Caribbean, Pacific and Andean regions have been hardest hit by the rains, which have been impacting Colombia for over a year, intensified by the La Niña weather pattern that has caused devastating floods, landslides and road collapses.
More than 2,500,000 acres (1,060,000 hectares) of land are under water, and travel on national roads and municipal highways has been seriously interrupted by the destructive weather.
Meteorologists have forecasted that the intense rains will last until the middle of June, when a short summer period will have to be used effectively to initiate reconstruction projects.