June 19, 2013
Colombia extends state of emergency due to rains
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said that the government had extended a temporary state of emergency for an additional 20 days due to heavy rains that have battered the Andean nation.
Downpours and floods in Colombia have caused up to $5.2 billion in damages and the government plans to raise additional money by modifying some taxes and selling shares in state firms among other measures.
"The decision to decree an emergency for 20 more days was taken because this hasn't ended, we still have places where the situation continues to be very grave," Santos told journalists.
The temporary state of emergency -- which was first enacted in early December -- gives Santos more flexibility to secure extra resources for recovery from, what Bogotá calls, its worst natural disaster ever.
Bad weather has displaced around 2.2 million people and killed more than 300 since April 2010, officials say.