The levee that broke last Saturday and caused the Magdalena river to
flood the town of Plato and surrounding area in the north of Colombia
will not be repaired until the water is lower, Colombian President
Álvaro Uribe said Tuesday.
The president asked the people of Plato for patience after he had inspected the damage caused by the flood by helicopter.
Uribe emphasized that the priority at the moment is not the reconstructing of the dam, but the humanitarian aid given to the victims. Authorities and aid organizations have constructed improvised shelters for the thousands of people who’s house is under water.
The water that broke through the levee destroyed at least 50 houses and reached the rooftops in some parts of the town. More than 50,000 people instantly became — at least temporarily — homeless. Fortunately no casualties were reported.
Uribe said he is willing to listen to authorities to reconstruct the dykes guiding the river, preventing a disaster like this to reoccur.