After three months of relative drought, heavy rains returned to Colombia Saturday, causing flooding in all major cities and disrupting the country’s infrastructure. All this while the country’s authorities say they are not even half way in reconstructing what was destroyed by the last rainy season.
This year’s second rainy season — expected to last until mid-December — had its prelude in the capital Bogota where heavy rains and a hailstorm caused a disruption of the city’s traffic on Saturday. According to local authorities, the extreme weather caused no accidents.
In Medellin, heavy rains fell began falling Saturday evening, causing flooding in several parts of the city and 295 road accidents in which at least one person was killed and several were injured. The soccer match between Medellin team Nacional and their Bogota rivals Santa Fe was suspended when rains flooded the field.
In Cali, a heavy storm uprooted trees and destroyed rooftops.
A similar storm hit the city of Manizales where ten houses lost their rooftops and media report landslides and floods.
According to President Juan Manuel Santos, state agencies have begun 53% of the 4,178 public works projects to reconstruct the damage done by the torrential rains that caused massive destruction throughout the country since the beginning of 2010.
Nevertheless, the road between Medellin and Quibdo, the capital of the Pacific Choco department, was closed off after the first rains fell on Saturday.
Last year’s extended rainy season killed more than 300 people in Colombia, affected more than 2 million and caused an estimated $5 billion in damages.