Heavy rains kill five in Colombia, six missing

A woman and kids sit by their destroyed house after heavy rains caused destruction in Cucuta, Colombia.

Bogota: Floods caused by a particularly intense rainy season have killed at least five people and left six others missing in northwestern Colombia, authorities said on Wednesday.

A ravine near the city of Cucuta had overflowed and caused flooding “that devastated everything in its path,” the South American country’s disaster risk agency said.

More than 200 nearby homes, mostly in poor neighborhoods, were damaged.

The flooding brings the death toll from more than two months of torrential rains ravaging Colombia to 27, with thousands of people flooded out of their homes.

The government said 26 of Colombia’s 32 departments have been affected by the rains, responsible for 154 separate flooding events, 143 landslides and 56 tornados.

Authorities link the catastrophic rains to the climate phenomenon known as “La Nina,” which is characterised by a cooling of waters in the central Pacific Ocean.

Scientists say climate warming generally is causing a rise in ocean surface temperature, leading to hurricanes and violent storms, as well as rising sea levels endangering coastal communities.