Colombian rains leave 17 dead and 56,000 homeless

Colombia’s recent heavy rains have left 17 dead and 56,000 homeless, authorities said Monday.

Three more people are missing and 24 injured, according to figures from the Colombian Office of Risk Management.

According to El Tiempo, an overflow of the Soapaga river in central Colombia has damaged 102 houses and left 108 families homeless.

Juan Carlos Nemocon, the mayor of central Colombian region Soacha, said 150 families had been affected by the rising levels of the Rio Claro, and called for the river to be deepened and widened to prevent more damage, reported W Radio.

In the northeast region of Santander, rising river levels caused by consistent and perpetual rain have flooded livestock and oil palm crops. Last year, there was an estimated 74,000 acres of food crops, oil palm crops and pastures destroyed due to flooding.

Last winter’s extremely harsh rainy season killed at least 134 Colombians and affected more than half a million, according to figures from the Red Cross.

Authorities have been criticised for failing to adequately prepare for this year’s rains.


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