Over 280 dead in Colombia rains

December 19th, 2010 - 12:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Bogota, Dec 19 (IANS/EFE) The number of deaths caused by torrential rains this year in Colombia has risen to 281, the Red Cross has said.At least 271 people were injured in the rains, according to the report released Saturday.

Carlos Ivan Marquez, Red Cross director in Colombia, said 68 people have disappeared while more than 2.2 million have been affected by the downpour nationwide.

The number of homes destroyed has also increased to over 3,100, he said.

The interior and justice ministry, through its risk management agency, has warned the authorities in the Andean, Pacific and Amazon regions that heavy rains would continue.

On Friday, more than 3,000 inhabitants of Gramalote town, near the Venezuela border, began to be evacuated due to risk of a mudslide that threatened the area.

The two rainy seasons of 2010 have destroyed 40 national highways and many bridges, medical centres, schools and a million hectares of crops.

–IANS/EFE
pm/pg

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