The Director of Civil Defense in the department of Boyaca, Colonel Alirio Aponte Monroy, told Caracol Radio on Monday that as a preventative measure hundreds of homes in towns situated on the banks of the Chicamocha river should evacuate due to a risk of heavy flooding.
“This prevention campaign is intended to avoid the tragedy that has been seen this winter in other municipalities. We expect the river to drastically increase in this sector, which would surely cause some flooding and landslides.” Monroy said.
The municipalities of Tuta, Paipa, Tibasosa, Duitama and Sogamoso are primarily affected by the evacuation call.
Several families have already heeded the warning and have evacuated but many are staying resolutely in their homes.
Monroy clarified that this is a purely defensive measure which does not extend for more than three days. The evacuation warning comes at an awkward time for Colombians as it is during the Easter week celebration.
Earlier on Monday it was reported that Colombia’s Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (IDEAM) suggested 13 out of the 32 departments in Colombia face a high risk of flooding and landslides as heavy rains continue to cause problems.
The heavy rains are blamed on the La Niña phenomenon which has already caused extensive damage and left more than 300 dead in Colombia in 2010. On Friday, the death toll from the rains so far this year hit 69.