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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 November, 2004, 23:51 GMT
Colombia battered by heavy floods
Flooding in Cartagena, Colombia
More heavy rains are expected in the coming days
A state of emergency has been declared in parts of Colombia where floods caused by torrential rains have killed at least 14 people, officials say.

They say thousands of people in several states have been forced to flee their homes after weeks of heavy rains.

The flooding, which has worsened in recent days, has mainly affected the country's Caribbean coast in the north.

The Colombian Red Cross has urged people to donate money as well as first aid and other supplies to the victims.

Colombian government minister Diego Palacios has described this year's rainy season as the most damaging in years.

Supplies running low

Authorities say that the declaration of the state of emergency makes it easier for them to help the flood victims and raise funds for them.

The army has already been called into the affected areas.

"We are flying in supplies and mattresses," General Carlos Alberto Ospina, the armed forces commander, was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.

The Colombian Red Cross said 2bn pesos ($620,000) were needed to help those left homeless by the floods.

It also said its warehouses with supplies for the victims were empty, calling Colombians to donate food, clothing and medicine.

"I just pray to God that he will stop sending us so much rain," one of the floods victims told Colombia's television channel.

Among the affected cities was Cartagena, the historic walled city on the Caribbean coast.

See the damage caused by the torrential rains

Ask Colombia's president Alvaro Uribe
11 Nov 04 |  Have Your Say

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