BOGOTA – The death toll from the torrential rains falling in Colombia since early 2010 now stands at 312, while the number of people affected has risen to more than 2.23 million, humanitarian officials in this capital said Saturday.
In the first report of 2011 on the continuing meteorological emergency, the Colombian Red Cross said that the rains have also left 289 people injured and 64 missing.
Mudslides, floods and overflowing rivers have destroyed 5,323 homes and damaged another 328,420, the institution said, adding that the affected population is made up of a total of 461,337 families.
The same source said that the emergency has affected 712 of the more than 1,000 municipalities in the country’s 32 provinces, which since last September have been hit with even heavier rains due to the La Niña weather phenomenon.
The rains will continue, the Red Cross said, asking that emergency management organizations remain on the alert “in areas at risk, considering that the rains can damage places where there are already people affected as well as regions that have not yet suffered from the downpours.”
In the same report, the organization expressed its gratitude for citizens’ solidarity with the victims, for whom they have donated 2,157 tons of humanitarian aid and 3.1 billion pesos (more than $1.66 million) in cash.
The Red Cross action plan has benefited 763,627 people to date, the source said, indicating that those affected have received 1,525 of the total tonnage of humanitarian aid that has been received.
The other 632 tons “are in the process of being delivered,” the institution said.