Flooding and landslides caused by heavy rain caused chaos in central
and east Colombia. Roads were blocked and homes and businesses evacuated.
The Bogotá to Melgar highway, one of Colombia’s principal roads was closed due to landslides. Bogotá itself was especially hard hit, particularly in the Fontibón area, where the Fucha river burst its banks.
Throughout the city Bogotanos were obliged to disembark from public transport and continue their journey on foot because buses were unable to proceed through the flooded streets.
At least thirty passengers had to be rescued from eight buses that were immobilized by the water.
“The forecast doesn’t look good,” said Bogotá mayor Samuel Moreno. “We’re trying to determine the hardest hit areas so that we can act as quickly as possible. The idea is to undertake necessary maintenance as soon as possible to mitigate the emergency.”
Bogotá fire department are using water pumps to drain water up to forty centimeters deep in the south of the city.
In Cucutá, close to the border with Venezuela, a landslide covered twenty shops and partly destroyed many more. El Espectador reported that authorites estimate at least 200 people were affected by torrential rain throughout the city.
The head of weather forecasts from the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies, Humberto González, told Radio Caracol that the rain is forecast to increase by thirty percent throughout April, in comparison with levels of rain recorded in April of 2008.
Traffic conditions in Bogotá remain chaotic, with many roads still blocked.