President Juan Manuel Santos said that major reconstruction efforts in Colombia cannot commence until the La Niña weather pattern passes, likely at the end of June.
In a presidential communique released Friday, Santos said, “The La Niña phenomenon should finish by the end of the coming month, according to what the IDEAM [Colombia’s meteorological institute] has promised. We cannot do the necessary work until the phenomenon is over with. We have to wait for it to go before we start to rebuild the country.”
The prolonged and intense rainy season has killed 116 people and caused serious injury to 87 in the first four months of 2011, and over the course of the past year, has affected a total of 3.2 million people and flooded 2.5 million acres of land.
Santos said that the issue of the rainy season is one of the two things that is affecting Colombian citizens’ optimism, speaking in reference to the results of a Gallup poll conducted in the country at the end of April.
According to the poll, 54% of Colombians think the overall situation in the country has gone from bad to worse.