Bad weather: a flooding torrent kills 5 and missing 6 in Colombia

Colombia is affected by a very intense rainy season which left 27 dead, tens of injured and thousands of victims.

The town hall of Cucuta lamented on Twitter a “tragic night” and the harmful consequences of building “in high-risk areas”, on the banks of rivers or torrents.

AFP

At least five people have died and six others are missing in the overflow of a torrent in northeast Colombia, authorities said on Wednesday. The country is affected by a particularly intense rainy season.

The Tonchala torrent, near the city of Cucuta, got out of its bed on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday and “caused a great flood which devastated everything in its path”, told AFP the press service of the Local Secretariat for disaster risk management. According to the same source, 209 homes, mostly in poor neighborhoods, were damaged.

Photos released by authorities show destroyed brick houses, trees torn down and the ground covered in mud, as adults and children dig through the rubble in an attempt to retrieve some belongings. The town hall of Cucuta lamented on Twitter a “tragic night” and the harmful consequences of building “in high-risk areas”, on the banks of rivers or torrents.

Climate change

Bordering Venezuela, Cucuta is one of the poorest cities in Colombia: 45.4% of its population lives on the equivalent of less than three dollars a day, according to the National Administrative Department of Statistics (Dane). This flood brings the toll of two months of torrential rains to 27 dead, tens of injured and thousands of victims, according to the National Disaster Risk Management Unit. In total, 26 of the country’s 32 departments were affected, including 154 floods, 143 landslides and 56 tornadoes.

According to this entity, the catastrophic rains affecting Colombia this year are linked to the climatic phenomenon of La Niña, due to the cooling of the Pacific Ocean. This country is also facing the damage caused by the passage of Hurricane Iota on the Caribbean archipelago of San Andrés and Providencia, which left at least two dead and six injured.

Climate change causes an increase in the temperature of the surface of the oceans, which generates hurricanes and violent storms, as well as a rise in water, dangerous for coastal populations, according to studies by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

(ATS / NXP)

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