BOGOTA, COLOMBIA (November 25, 2010) – A national disaster has been declared throughout major portions of Colombia in the midst of devastating rain that is described as the worst in at least 30 years.More than 130 deaths have been reported in recent weeks with an estimated 1.3 million affected by severe flooding.
“The flooding in Colombia is definitely terrible,” report Gary and Mary Lou Sander, Evangelical Covenant church missionaries. “It is occurring virtually all over the country,” they note in an email to David and Wendy Mark, regional coordinators for Latin America/Caribbean for the Department of World Mission. “Roads are closed in many places, especially in the mountains, because of landslides. Heavy rainstorms are flooding streets.”
Flooding has left 28 of the country’s 32 provinces submerged, and thousands have been forced to abandon their homes.
Most Covenant churches are out of danger, the Sanders report. “One of the churches, the Covenant Church in Barranquilla, has suffered episodes of flooding during heavy rainstorms. There is no way that they can avoid this because of their location and recent road construction, which has diverted the water runoff into their area. The Covenant is responding – along with the general public – in giving donations of clothing and food items for the victims.”
Heavy rains in the capital of Bogota on Wednesday brought the Bogota River to its highest level in 30 years, reports the website WunderBlog. More rain is in the forecast, which is predicting an additional three to six inches in the Bogota region over the coming week.