I’ve joked about the rain here in Bogotá because it has rained most days since I got here. For the last week or two again, the rains have been torrential. One evening last week was the first time I’ve experienced flooding; luckily for me that just meant being incapable of crossing streets without stepping through ankle-high water.
Elsewhere in Colombia, the weather and its effects have been much worse:
(CNN) — Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has declared a state of emergency in 28 of the nation’s 32 departments because of heavy rains and flooding that have affected some 1.2 million people.
He called on the international community to help and said the capacity of the Colombian government is overwhelmed.
Flooding and mudslides have killed at least 136 people, injured 205 and left 20 missing, the nation’s Interior and Justice Ministry reported.
Emergency officials say the heavy rain has led to problems in 561 municipalities in the South American nation.
“Many have lost everything they had and the capacity of the government [to help them] has been overwhelmed. We’re trying to find ways to get more resources and that’s why we’re calling on the business sector, the public in general, and the international community to help us because, unfortunately, the situation is getting worse,” said Santos.
The unseasonable weather is apparently a product of La Niña, which may bring rains like this for several more months or up to another year. For the sake of people across Colombia–those outside of Bogotá more even than us here–I hope that forecast is much exaggerated.
In brighter news, today (at least in Bogotá) is beautifully sunny, so I’m heading out for a Ciclovía bike ride with one of my roommates and Isabel.