The capital Bogota has seen heavy rainfall, leaving one person dead and 48 homes evacuated, according to RCN Radio. The surrounding area in Cundinamarca department has been worse affected due to the Bogota and Chichu rivers overflowing, with 2,000 families affected.
The amount of land flooded in Cundinamarca’s Cota municipality reached 865 acres Tuesday. Waters reached up to 13′ in height in the most extreme cases caused by the overflowing rivers, according to newspaper El Espectador.
Cota mayor Milciades Ospina warned that the flooding could get worse. “We have reported that the Bogota river is rising between 20 and 50cm [7.9″ to 19.7″],” he said.
Tulua in Valle del Cauca Department — Andean Region — has also seen serious flooding caused by heavy rains and a “red alert” situation was declared by emergency authorities, reported newspaper El Pais.
More than 500 houses have been flooded, with the water line reaching 5.5′ in the worst cases. The civil defense department and Red Cross have begun a census to determine the number of victims in the area.
According to Valle del Cauca‘s government secretary Diego Luis Hurtado, 500 humanitarian relief kits have been distributed to local families.
Hurtado added that “all municipalities in the department should be prepared for emergencies (…) it is likely that more emergencies like the one in Tulua will follow.” Tulua mayor Jose German Gomez Garcia called the situation a “tragedy without precedent” for the municipality.
A total of 19 people have been killed and 60,684 left homeless throughout Colombia due to heavy seasonal rains, according to the latest figures from the National Unit for Disaster Risk Management (UNGRD).
A further 24 people have been left wounded, 4 missing, and nearly 11,587 homes, 190 roads, 40 schools, 40 health centers damaged by the weather.
Despite heavy weather recorded throughout the country, UNGRD president Carlos Ivan Marquez Perez said the number of affected people or objects was “85% lower than in the same period in 2011.”
Last winter’s extremely harsh rainy season killed at least 134 Colombians and affected more than half a million, according to figures from the Red Cross.
Authorities have been criticised for failing to adequately prepare for this year’s rains.