A new riverine alert keeps salaminers awake. The erosion that undermines the embankment and has hit in two points (km 2.5 or La Bonga and Km 2.1, La Curva del Dr William) severely attacked a third (Las Carmelitas), knocking down the ferry house.
The videos of the recent event – which occurred on Monday morning – in which the construction of material falling into the tributary is observed, shocked everyone and generated a greater alarm.
“As things are going, erosion will reach the urban area of Salamina,” said Alberto Torres, spokesman for the municipality’s Citizen Oversight.
For this reason, the call of the community is to speed up the work to stop erosion.
In this sense, the salaminero mayor Luis Ramón Orozco made an urgent and vehement call to the national government to immediately intervene the three critical points.
“That he give tools, nails and teeth to the entities of his spring to act quickly,” said the local president. He clarified that “we are talking about resources.”
The president of Salamina said that, given this sad episode in the ‘Las Carmelitas’ sector, “I am seriously thinking about suspending the ferry or, failing that, changing the landing destination.”
He commented that the latter (the new point of arrival) could be on the road to the town of Guaimaro.
However, he pointed out that the decision in one direction or the other would be made after a Unified Command Post (PMU) that will take place this Tuesday.
Orozco commented that the affected house was built approximately 6 years ago, in a high-risk area and “without any municipal authorization.”
The former mayor of Salamina Pedro Asmar indicated that this construction was a mistake. “Any reasonably sensible person knew that you couldn’t build there,” he said.
They promote protest
With the new event on the Salamina-El Piñón road, the inhabitants of these riverside towns express that just as things are happening, “a gigantic protest is very close.”
Alberto Torres, delegate of the Citizen Oversight, said that “the community is determined to take the Eastern Highway or the Pumarejo Bridge, on the Atlantic.”
He said that this idea is gaining strength because the emergency –according to the community– “has not been given due attention.”
“The authorities do not act, we are in an emergency and they do not execute anything. At any moment there would be an act of protest, ”Torres noted.
The mayor of Salamina, Luis Ramón Orozco, said that he has heard something about this manifestation of nonconformity by the people and although he considers it a citizen’s right, he believes it is convenient to dialogue and agree.
Once the new emergency was known, the Magdalena Government transferred the Secretary of Infrastructure, Rafael Martínez, and the director of the Risk Management office, Jaime Avendaño, to the site, who flew over the affected area.
Governor Carlos Caicedo indicated that his administration “warned Invías and Cormagdalena about the consequence of non-compliance with works to mitigate erosion on the Salamina road.”
He pointed out that since the technical document on the actions to be carried out by Cormagdalen is not known, the government “will hire expert consultants to establish a timely and effective solution to the emergency.”
“Due to the slow progress of the commitments made by Cormagdalena since August 30, for the execution of actions to reduce and mitigate the risks associated with the river erosion process, the Government will have its own resources to hire a consulting firm for experts in hydrodynamics from the Universidad del Norte to help draw up a roadmap, which should have been contracted by Cormagdalena, which will serve to overcome the emergency in the short or medium term ”, he specified.
Letter of legal standing
This new event at the Las Carmelitas site coincided with the sending of a letter from Salamina’s representative Carlos Mario de la Cruz to the National Unit for Risk and Disaster Management UNGRD, Cormagdalena, Ministry of the Treasury and Attorney General’s Office, in which he demanded a prompt pay attention to kilometer 2.1 and surrounding areas.
He recalled that “in the midst of the work to control flooding and scour at kilometer 2.5, there is a new point of erosion with very high aggressiveness at kilometer 2.1 and that led to the collapse of the highway that connects the municipalities of Salamina and El Piñón in a stretch of 170 meters, on October 18, 2020, with the same known risk at the initial point of this emergency “.
He states that from the day the highway fell at kilometer 2.1, the entities legally committed to attending to the emergency were present, “however, we are concerned that to date it has not been defined contractually and budgetaryly, as regards the allocation of about 4,000 million pesos for the provisional solution “.
He referred to works similar to those carried out at kilometer 2.5, which would lift all the people of the Salamina, El Piñón, Pivijay, Cerro de San Antonio, Zapayán, and Concordia municipalities out of uneasiness.
“It is of the utmost urgency, not only the allocation of $ 4,000 million to carry out the emergency works for flood control at kilometer 2.1, but also
It requires about 10,000 million pesos to achieve the execution of works that in an integral way allow to end the risk of flooding in the area between Kilometers 2.1 and 2.5 and guarantee the safety of the entire region, “he said.