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Wildfire Smears The Forests Of Colombia, Help Flows In From Around The Globe

An International emergency was declared in Colombia when the country was engulfed in a wildfire. The forest fires originated out of the scorching weather conditions due to the El Nino phenomenon. El Nino affects Colombia in disastrous ways, resulting in prolonged drought, heat, and then forest fire. The El Nino effect is anticipated to continue in its full force until the Northern Hemisphere spring season. This has caused a predicament in the entire nation, causing the devastation of 17,000 hectares of land since last November. The numbers rose to more than 400 in the area leading to a state of emergency. January has been recorded as the hottest month in Colombia for the past 30 years. This is primarily due to the blazing forest mainly near Bogotà, the capital city. Both the valley and the onlooking mountains have been caught in the trap of the escalating fire.


The government went ahead to put forth safety guidelines for the citizens. The residents were asked not to venture out near the burnt areas, as the air quality had deteriorated. Susana Muhamad, the Environment Minister, brought to notice that even after constant efforts, 26 fires were still ablaze. Gustavo Petro, the President, declared the fire as a natural disaster followed by an emergency. The issue went to the international level as aid was sought, allowing relief funds to be collected. The calamity worsened, hence, funds for other purposes have been redirected to cope with the crisis. President Gustavo has raised a call for help from the United States, Chile, and Peru. These nations are veterans in dealing with fighting forest fires and responded to the call. Further help also flowed from the United Nations and the European Union.


The environmental sector has raised warnings for people in the vicinity to stay indoors and to avoid movement. The aviation industry also saw a significant decline in the frequency of flights, with delays or suspensions due to the air quality. Petro warned that the situation, which he described as a “climate crisis,” will get worse. “We are going toward an increasingly difficult stage,” he said. Climate change has surfaced as a major concern after the incident, making space for deliberation on the issue. The fire reached the apex of the mountains and was beyond control. One fire was reported to be around 900 metres from Bogotà’s eastern neighbourhood. Lately, temperatures have soared 5 to 10 degrees higher than normal, causing discomfort in the lives of people. The issue is in control as aid, both financial and moral, has flown in from a multitude of nations and organisations. However, this is not a novel forest fire in Colombia due to the El Nino phenomenon. The primary reason for the escalated trepidation in the country this time, was the intensity and expanse of the fire. 

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