The devastation left by the passage of Hurricane Iota through San Andrés and Providencia is not the only tragedy that the winter wave has caused in the country.
The rains in recent weeks have caused the death of six people in a neighborhood of Cúcuta due to the overflow of a stream. In Dabeiba, Antioquia, a landslide left five dead and three missing. In Chocó, the floods have affected some 40,000 people. Impacts have also been recorded in the coastal areas of the Atlantic, Meta and La Guajira.
There are some 299 municipalities affected in 26 departments and, according to figures from the National Unit for Disaster Risk Management (UNGRD), 59,720 families affected. All this due to the La Niña phenomenon, which will continue until the end of the year, according to forecasts.
(Further: San Andrés and Providencia live the worst tragedy in their history)
In the archipelago they are just beginning to recover from the Iota pass, which mainly impacted Providencia, the island that had to withstand winds of up to 250 kilometers per hour.
Although the first humanitarian aid began to arrive on Tuesday – it is estimated that more than 50 tons will be delivered – reconstruction will be difficult, as 98 percent of the infrastructure was affected. In addition, communications have not been restored, so hundreds of people do not know how their families are.
Faced with this situation, the Red Cross set up a line to contact people on the island, where official reports indicate that two people died and three are missing. Until now, Only humanitarian flights are allowed in Providencia, but some people from San Andrés are traveling in boats to meet their loved ones.
San Andrés, meanwhile, this Wednesday reopened the airport for commercial flights and even tourists are returning to the beaches. There, more than 1,400 damaged buildings are reported, including houses, shops and hotels, and some 6,000 victims. There are no dead or missing.
(You may be interested in: Iota and the worst natural disasters in the history of Colombia)
The other regions
After a torrential downpour on Tuesday night, a residential complex in the Cuberos Niños neighborhood was under water due to the overflow of a creek that caused a flood that reached more than two meters in height and destroyed vehicles and walls.
Six people died: three of these after the collapse of a house, and the other three bodies were found on the edge of the Tonchalá creek.
(We suggest you read: Tragedy due to flooding in Cúcuta: six dead and eight missing)
In Dabeiba, after an avalanche on Saturday night on the road that connects Medellín with Urabá, five people died, three are missing, 22 injured and 180 families affected.
Chocó, for its part, has been one of the departments most hit by the winter wave. The rains on Saturday, November 15, generated sudden increases in its main rivers, resulting in floods in 16 municipalities and two landslides. It is estimated that 7,371 families were affected.
Vice President Marta Lucía Ramírez arrived on Wednesday to Quibdó, who presented a plan to rescue the department from disasters caused by rains. This plan includes the relocation of the townships of Boraudo, in Lloró, and Pague, in Bojayá.
In addition, a shipment of humanitarian aid was delivered and it is expected that 6,000 food kits, hygiene products, blankets, mosquito nets, among others, will arrive in the coming days.
The Vice President added that, beyond aid and measures against natural emergencies, “We need the department to have new options for economic development, job creation, opportunities for citizens.”
Among the other regions that have suffered the most is La Guajira, where the heavy rains in recent days have affected more than 6,000 families in five municipalities.
UNGRD data indicate that six houses have been destroyed and at least 130 are damaged. Similarly, it is estimated that 800 kilometers of tertiary roads are damaged, which keeps the entire Upper Guajira isolated.
(You can also read: Photos: unfortunate consequences left by floods in Chocó)
Magdalena has also suffered. Authorities report that eight municipalities are flooded by rising rivers and levee breaks. This leaves a balance of 10,324 families affected and 8,821 homes suffered breakdowns.
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