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Colombia suffers its worst natural disaster in history

posted 19 Apr 2011, 11:24 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 19 Apr 2011, 11:28 ]

Months of floods weigh down on Colombia, killing hundreds and forcing millions to flee their homes.

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA (APRIL 19, 2011) RCN TV - The rain poured down unabated in Colombia on Tuesday (April 19), worsening a tragedy that has already killed hundreds of people and forced more than two million people from their homes.

Downpours caused by the La Nina weather phenomenon have wreaked flood damage on the South American country since mid-2010.

The government of President Juan Manuel Santos has said it is the worst natural disaster in the country's history.

"There are going to be a lot needy people, there has never been a tragedy of this scale in our history. These mountains you can see are deteriorating and they are going to cause us a lot of problems. But if we act united now, if we act in a coordinated fashion we will be able to reduce the immense costs this tragedy will bring," Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said.

Billions of dollars have been lost in damage, destroyed crops, washed away homes and dead livestock.

Neighboring Venezuela has also been hit badly.

The national government has been seeking Congressional approval for extra budgetary resources of 5.7 trillion pesos to help pay for flood damage fund, but on Monday it indicated it may be putting the brakes on the request.

Weather predictions from the government's weather office sees the La Nina weather phenomenon lasting until June.