Colombia’s heaviest rains in history triggered a landslide in the poor hillside community of Bello on Sunday, killing at least 20 people and leaving 125 missing. This year’s unprecedented rainy season had already killed 176 people prior to Sunday, making it one of the deadliest flooding years in Colombia’s history, according to the director of Colombia’s national disaster management office, Luz Armanda Pulido. In 2009, 110 people died in flooding disasters, and 48 were killed in 2008, according to Colombian Red Cross director of national relief operations Carlos Ivan Marquez. This year’s rains are the heaviest in the 42 years since Colombia’s weather service was created and began taking data, agency director Ricardo Lozano said. The resulting flooding has destroyed or damaged the homes of 1.6 million people. Colombia’s president Juan Manuel Santos said the number of homeless from the flooding could reach 2 million, and said “the tragedy the country is going through has no precedents in our history.” Neighboring Venezuela has also been hard-hit by this year’s severe rainy season–at least 30 people are dead from floods and mudslides, and tens of thousands homeless. More rain is in the forecast–the latest forecast from the GFS model (Figure 2)–calls for an additional 4 – 6 inches (100 – 150 mm) across much of western and northern Colombia in the coming week. Colombia’s rainy season usually peaks in October, then gradually wanes in November and December.
The source article Heaviest rains in Colombia's history trigger deadly landslide; 145 dead or missing was published December 6, 2010 by Dr. Jeff Masters Blog: Weather Underground .