Colombia’s Rainy Season Won’t Go Away!
1 million people in 27 of Colombia’s 32 districts have been left homeless since mid-September
At least 50,000 people in northern Colombia were left homeless Monday [Dec 15, 2008] after towns and villages were flooded by Magdalena River which broke through its dikes.
In the town of Plato, 4,000 structures were flooded, and 50 houses were washed away, leaving 40,000 people homeless. Water reportedly reached the rooftops of many homes.
“Everything is collapsing — the economic system, the health system, public services,” Mayor Jose Rosales Cortina told reporters.
“We need help,” one anguished woman said on the newscast. “Don’t you see that the town is totally flooded? We don’t have anything in this town. No one helps us here.”
“The water roared. It roared,” said a resident. “The current took you away. You couldn’t hold onto anything. It took away eight houses here.”
“The furniture, the bed, the television, everything is under water,” another resident said.
The Colombian Civil Defense said about 1 million people [2.5% of Colombia's 44.6 million population] have been left homeless since mid-September, the beginning of Colombia’s rainy season, which has lasted longer than usual.
Officials also said flooding has killed 67 people and injured 94 this year, with 18 people missing in 27 departments. Colombia has 32 Departments, or official administrative districts.