The flooding of the Cauca and San Jorge rivers has led to a social and sanitary crisis in the region, which is connected to the rest of the country by a single strip of land.
Until a few days ago, no contact at all could be made with the area. Ayapel is experiencing a shortage of goods like chicken, bread and vegetables that are brought there from the department of Antioquia, and are now nearly impossible to transport.
More than 3,000 students in the city are unable to attend class because their schools are flooded. Around 6,000 hectares of crops, especially rice, have been destroyed.
Both urban and rural areas have been flooded. Mayor Saul Llanos said the authorities may attempt to move more people to the urban areas “to avoid a worse tragedy.” A local representative of the national government said they have been able to get some aid to the area, but more is needed.
Local authorities are calling on the department to fix the road flooded by the San Jorge River to help facilitate the movement of necessary goods into the affected areas.
The rainy season has left 70 people dead and 145 injured in Colombia so far this year, and the homes and crops of some 700,000 people have been damaged or destroyed.