Five of Colombia’s 32 states are on red alert due to flooding and landslides, which have left at least 38 people dead and 18,000 homeless, according to the National Disaster Risk Management Unit (UNGRD).
The emergency created by heavy rainfall is expected to last through mid-December. UNGRD has spent $1.5 million this year to date in emergency kits for more than 9,000 families affected by flooding and landslides.
The west and northwest of Colombia has seen the worst damage, particularly the states of Antioquia, Valle de Cauca, and Cauca. Officials remain especially vigilant in Choco and Cundinamarca due to rainfall in the past two days.
As of September 1st, there were 88 recorded floods, 50 landslides, three avalanches, and 29 structural collapses in Colombia, said UNGRD director Carlos Ivan Marquez.
“At this moment, we have an emergency in Antioquia … special surveillance in Cauca, and special attention in Valle del Cauca, Choco and the northern coast of the country,” Marquez told national radio station Caracol.
According to the official, there have been emergencies due to the heavy rains in almost 200 of Colombia’s almost 1,100 municipalities.
Floods and landslides are common in Colombia during the rainy season.
The country generally has two dry and two rainy seasons a year, each lasting approximately three months.
The ongoing rainy season — the second this year — began in September and is expected to last until December.
- Cinco departamentos en alerta por intensas lluvias (Caracol Radio)
- Balance de la Segunda Temporada de Lluvias (National Disaster risk Management Unit)