13:01 GMT05 July 2020
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    Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said that a red alert has been issued in Colombia as water levels dropped significantly in the Magdalena River, the country’s main waterway, as well as Cauca River.

    MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) – A red alert has been issued in Colombia as water levels dropped significantly in the Magdalena River, the country’s main waterway, as well as Cauca River, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said.

    "The Magdalena River presents the lowest [water] levels since 1973. The level is 45 centimeters [18 inches], when it should be 134 centimeters [4 feet]," Santos said as quoted by El Heraldo on Wednesday.

    Colombia is experiencing a seasonal drought, the effects of which will be felt until June, according to the Colombian leader.

    Santos urged Colombian residents to conserve water and called for the reopening of the El Quimbo hydroelectric plant.

    The drought and low water levels in Colombia result from the El Nino phenomenon.

    The El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a cycle of warm and cold temperatures of the tropical central and eastern Pacific Ocean. The warm phase of ENSO is called "El Nino," while the cool phase is referred to as "La Nina."

    The El Nino phenomenon occurs at irregular intervals, every two to seven years.

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    river, alert, Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia
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