Red alert as floods threaten Colombia’s main water reservoir

A red alert was declared Thursday in Colombia’s Atlantic department, as raised water levels in a primary canal threaten one of the country’s main water reservoirs, according to Caracol Radio.

The Dam Canal, which runs through northern coastal cities such as Cartagena, is currently 6cm above its normal level, placing several coastal villages and municipalities on red alert.

The canal links to the Guajaro water reservoir, one of Colombia’s biggest and most important sources of fresh water. The raised water levels of the canal are threatening to flood the resevoir, which could have serious consequences for water supplies in the area.

Alberto Escolar, Directer of Colombian environmental agency CAR, has stated that relief works are ahead of time to meet this second rainy season onslaught, with sandbanks being put in place at strategic points along the canal. However he acknowledged that the situation could potentially worsen as heavy rains continue inland.

Colombian authorities have recently come under fire for not preparing adequately for the multiple emergencies that have resulted from heavy downpours this rainy season.

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