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Colombia calls for international aid to deal with rainy season

posted by Adriaan Alsema
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Colombia news - flood in Bello

The Colombian government considers declaring a national emergency and asks the international community for assistance as local aid agencies are not able to deal with the more than 1.2 million victims of floods and landslides.

“We are doing everything within our possibility, but it’s not enough. For this we need the help of everyone … foreign aid … to be able to mitigate the suffering of so many compatriots,” President Santos said Saturday.

On Sunday, at least three people died in Medellin when a landslide destroyed their homes, which brings the official death toll because of the rains to 128. According to the government, more than 1.2 million people suffer damages because of the rains, floods and landslides. More than 1,700 houses are completely destroyed.

Almost half of Colombia’s municipality declared an emergency and governments of municipalities bordering the Cauca and Magdalena rivers are on high alert for the expected flooding of the country’s two largest rivers.

According to the President, this year’s rainy season is “the worst I have seen in my life” and is not yet over as the national meteorology agency estimates that heavy rains will continue to fall until next year.

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Adriaan Alsema is the founder and editor-in-chief of Colombia Reports. Born and raised a Dutchman, Adriaan has been living in Colombia since 2008.

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