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Persistent heavy rains leave 7 people dead in Colombia, significant increase in precipitation expected

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Heavy rain has been affecting western Colombia since March 11, 2021, causing flooding and landslides that have resulted in at least seven fatalities as of Tuesday, March 16, and thousands of families affected. Since January 1, 15  people have lost their lives across the state and two remain missing.

The affected area in western Colombia is the Valle del Cauca Department, where rivers Pance and Cauca overflowed. 

As of Tuesday, seven deaths have been reported– one each in Florida, Pradera, Palmira, and Caicedonia due to flooding, and three in Santiago de Cali due to a landslide.

Severe weather also damaged homes and buildings. In the Miranda Municipality, three houses were damaged and 15 people were affected during flooding on Sunday, March 14.

Since January this year, at least 146 landslide events, 45 floods, 32 flash floods, and 24 storms have hit the country, which affected at least 5 845 families. A total of 15 people have lost their lives, 16 others have been injured, and two remain missing.

Heavy rains are expected to continue through the rest of March, with mostly cloudy skies in the Amazon, Andean, and Pacific regions.

"The country is currently impacted by the La Niña phenomenon," explained the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology, and Environmental Studies.

"[This] is why a significant increase in precipitation volumes is expected in the central-western departments of the Caribbean Region, northern and central Andean Region, northern Pacific Region, wide sectors of the Orinoquia, and north of the Amazon region."

Featured image credit: Uaespm Cali

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