The typical winter rains fueled unusually strong El Ni�o weather pattern have lashed Colombia’ Caribbean coast over the past month leaving hundreds dead, thousands homeless and left the much of the South American country’s infrastructure crippled. + Large Image Graphic: C.J. Schexnayder Breach led to widespread flooding on coastal plain. The Colombian branch of the Red Cross set the death toll at 281 and estimate that a total of 2.2 million people in the country have so far been affected by the rains, floods and landslides. The Colombian government puts the damage estimate at more than $5.2 billion to date.