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Colombian department declares calamity over drought

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, March 06, 2019
Colombian department declares calamity over drought

The government of Colombia's Córdoba department authorized a public calamity declaration over the drought that is affecting the area, which has been linked to the El Niño weather phenomenon.

Córdoba's head of risk management Iván Tapia was quoted as saying by W Radio that 20 of the department's 30 municipalities have reported water shortages; 11 of the 20 have decreed a public calamity on their own.

The drought has also led to forest fires, affecting 1,000ha. All municipalities are under red alert.

According to the country's housing ministry, 114 municipalities have reported water shortages as a result of the drought, while 46 decreed a public calamity. Bolívar department is hardest hit, with 37 of its 46 municipalities affected.

In response, the government is readying a decree that would hike tariffs for those that waste water.

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