A newly developed geological fault has destroyed hundreds of houses in Cartagena and threatens to take out the entire neighborhood of San Francisco, Colombian media reported.
According to newspaper El Tiempo, 550 houses have already been destroyed in San Francisco, displacing 2,600 families.
The municipality government has begun providing subsidies of about $113 to each family that has lost their home. Authorities estimate it will cost $56 million to provide housing to the displaced families.
The district government is currently estimating the prices of the destroyed houses with the intent to purchase them.
The mayor of Cartagena, Judith Pinedo, expressed concern that the geological destruction could reach the Rafael Nuñez airport, which is only two blocks from the disaster zone.
A spokeswoman from the Social Pastoral Archdiocese of Cartagena explained that the geological fault was caused by the severe floods of November 2010, W Radio reported.
“With the rainy season the situation has worsened and what we already see is the detachment of a geological fault, which is what has caused the houses to fall to the ground,” the spokeswoman said.
Pindedo said that it would cost $8.5 million to drain the affected area to try to prevent future geological disturbances.