President Iván Duque traveled to the archipelago on Tuesday to verify the damage left by Hurricane Iota on the islands of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina.
Already in Providencia, the head of state indicated: “It is to show all the Colombian people that we are making a presence here, it is a devastating situation, we have seen a maximum impact on infrastructure but we are going to work on reconstruction”.
The president defined it as a miracle that there is only one fatality and one missing person after the hurricane, which reached its maximum category when it passed over the archipelago.
Some inhabitants of Providencia They managed to survive with the help of their neighbors, who protected them in the most difficult moments of the storm.
Statements by Iván Duque from Providencia
112 people evacuated, 6 injured and 80% of homes destroyed
President Iván Duque revealed that 112 people had to be evacuated in Providencia, six injured, two people dead and one more missing in the face of hurricane Iota.
“More than 112 people were evacuated. We also have the evacuation of six wounded and people who had some type of health impairment, people who are oxygen dependent, others who suffer from hypertension and we had the case of a pre-infarct “said the president.
For his part, the Minister of Housing, Jonathan Malagón, announced that 100% of the homes were affected by the hurricane and promised that all the homes in Providencia will be intervened and restored before 2022.
“Preliminary 100% of the houses affected, 80% total destruction and 20% partial damage. All the houses will be intervened and restored before 2022 “, pronounced the head of the Housing portfolio.
The first images of the island of Providencia
Accompanied by several ministers of his cabinet and directors of entities, President Iván Duque arrived this Tuesday at the archipelago department of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina to lead the work of attention to the emergency caused by Hurricane Iota.
Initially, on board the plane FAC-001 and coming from Cartagena, the head of state flew over the islands of Providencia and Santa Catalina, which were the hardest hit by the natural phenomenon.
Later, he landed in San Andrés, where he made a tour of the island’s coastal area, spoke with the community and met with his government team.
Iván Duque reported: “We will be deploying all the capacity of the National Government, the Navy, the Army, our team of rescuers, the Ministry of Health, to attend to, evacuate some of the wounded and have an immediate response capacity”.
The head of state indicated that he had the opportunity to speak with the mayor of Providencia, Norberto Gari Hooker, who offered him an assessment of the damages.
“The preliminary balance is that there is a person who has died and there is a missing person. We hope to reach the territory to have a more precise information gathering, ”said President Duque.
Humanitarian aid for the archipelago
The National Government announced the support of the public force to attend the emergency left by the passage of Iota through the islands of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina. More than two thousand men and women of the Caribbean Naval Force of the Navy they are available and highly trained to deal with the emergency.
The Minister of Defense, Carlos Holmes Trujillo, recalled that about 200 men and women of the Colombian Navy sail aboard the corvette ARC Independent, who sailed from Cartagena to the archipelago, to provide medical, logistical and supply support to the communities affected by the passage of the Iota.
He explained that the ship, “Endowed with the latest technology in communications and capacities for the transport of personnel and supply of material, it will navigate in the middle of hurricane force winds until it reaches San Andrés island”.
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In addition, the Food Bank asked citizens to donate perishable food; ready-to-eat food, new outer and inner clothing for all population groups, grooming kits, community kitchen items, sleeping items, biosecurity items, survival kit and plastic pallets or emergency kits. These items must be sent to the Food Bank.