Colombia rains cut banana exports 25%
Floods in Colombia late last year and in 2011 have cut back banana exports by 25%, while heavy rains continue to hit the country's Caribbean coast, website Elheraldo.co reported.
Santa Marta Port Society president Mauricio Suárez, told the website many areas on the coast had dried, but were now flooded again after the overflow of rivers, while landslides and floods were also causing safety concerns for open-pit mines.
The departments of Sucre and Bolívar have been the worst hit with 244,626 hectares flooded, followed by Atlántico with 112,808 hectares under water, Boyacá (49,775ha) and Cundinamarca (7,878ha), according to the Colombian Livestock Federation.
In the department of Cesar there are concerns for the lack of emergency shelter for 6,876 families displaced by the floods, while road access has been cut with sewage systems collapsed in many regions of the country.
The National Institute of Roads has estimated a budget of COP424 billion (US$235 million) for road re-construction works following damages from the winter floods.
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Photo: El Heraldo/Bolivar Government