After making a new tour of the archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina, to continue providing support to people affected by the impact of Hurricane Iota, President Iván Duque assured that on a personal level he was impacted by an image of the Virgin Mary would have been left standing, after the impact that the island had.
“It is really shocking that after a category 5 hurricane passed through the island of Providence, the Virgin was on her feet. Many people today told me that she is miraculous, because she avoided many deaths on our island, ”said the president.
Duque pointed out that he shares this personal experience without wanting to invade the faith of the citizens, because he respects the religious expressions of all people, regardless of creed or cult, however, he stressed that it cannot be denied how powerful the image is. of the Virgin Mary, which was found on her way through Santa Catalina.
Similarly, the head of state expressed solidarity with the families of the dead and disappeared in Cúcuta due to the winter wave that has also hit this part of the country, as well as Chocó, Antioquia, Cartagena and other areas of the Caribbean.
“Clearly we are facing a phenomenon of the girl that is not of the proportion that was seen in 2010, 2011, as I have said several times. It is more associated with the behavior of 2017 and 2018, but nevertheless we are seeing very severe rainfall and it affects several parts of the country, “he added.
The president highlighted that one of the characteristics of Colombia is that about 40% of the population lives in areas prone to climatic risks, as Ideam has said. He said that for this reason the entire risk management system is activated with full response capacity.
Duque declares San Andrés and Providencia disaster area
Through decree 1472 of 2020, President Iván Duque declared the Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina a disaster area. This, after the passage of hurricane Iota, which, upon reaching the department, was placed in category 5.
The decree explains that the declaration of emergency will last for one year that could be extended for another year, if the National Council for Risk Management considers it so.
Thus, the decree provides for the existence of a special customs regime for “goods that enter as aid that are acquired to be used for emergency response actions, rehabilitation, repair or reconstruction of the affected areas.” .
It also creates a specific action plan that will have ten guidelines, which include humanitarian assistance to affected families, administration and management of shelters, drinking water and basic sanitation, comprehensive health and epidemiological surveillance, recovery and construction of housing, economic and social reactivation of the area, land use planning, early warnings, emergency and mitigation works, and continuity of the provision of public services.
You can read: Hurricane and rains give no truce: Providencia was devastated
For this, the plan contemplates the coordination of actions between the National Unit for Disaster Risk Management and the Archipelago’s Departmental Council for Risk Management.
On Tuesday afternoon, President Iván Duque arrived in the island region and undertook to carry out the respective inspections in the area. After the search, it was reported that, so far, there are two fatalities –Fuentes Levinson, who was in the Casa Abajo and Vincent Archbold sector, on the island of Santa Catalina– and a missing person.
In turn, Jonathan Malagón, Minister of Housing, confirmed that preliminary records indicate that 100% of the 1,400 homes on the island were affected. 80% of them totally destroyed.
Given the magnitude of the emergency, the Independent ARC arrived in the territory yesterday, a corvette-type vessel belonging to the Colombian Navy, loaded with more than 15 tons of humanitarian aid.
In addition, according to Carlos Holmes Trujillo, Minister of Defense, 200 men and women arrived aboard that ship to provide medical, logistical and supply support.