Colombia declares state of emergency due to massive forest fires
Colombia has declared a state of emergency in two regions as dozens of wildfires have already burned large areas of the country and the capital has been choked with smoke during record temperatures associated with the El Niño weather phenomenon.
According to the National Disaster Risk Management Division (UNGRD), Colombia has already extinguished hundreds of fires this month but some fires are still burning. In the departments of Santander and Cundinamarca, where the capital Bogotá is located, fires have destroyed about 600 hectares of forest, and a state of emergency has been declared there, RTL Today reports.
More than half of the country's municipalities have declared a "red alert" due to the threat of fires, with areas around the capital being hit the hardest.
Authorities warned of a "significant deterioration" in air quality in the city of about 8 million people.
One of the world's countries with the greatest biodiversity, Colombia, has been suffering from record high temperatures and winter drought in the southern hemisphere for months as climate change wreaks havoc.
According to forecasters, these conditions will continue until June.