The first 15 days of heavy rains in Colombia have left one person dead, six wounded and some 50,000 people displaced from their homes, according to the Red Cross.
The national director of the Red Cross, Cesar Urueña, said the rains registered between March 3 and March 19 affected eight departments, 15 municipalities, 665 houses destroyed and 722 houses damaged.
“We call out to the Colombians to say to them that we have to prepare [for] the rains with three very puntual actions. One is the monitoring of the levels of the rivers, when they begin to rise [we] have to be on alert with the inhabitants of the river,” said Urueña.
The Red Cross representative said the second step had to do with a system of early alerts, so citizens and authorites could act before a situation turned grave, which would then facilitate the third and most crucial step; the evacuation of people from areas with high risk of disaster.
So far, the western Choco department has been the most affected by Colombia’s annual rainy season, which began in early March. According to reports, between three and four of the department’s water aqueducts have been damaged due to the rains.