Colombia – 4 Dead, 13,000 Families Affected by Floods After Rivers Overflow in Chocó Department

Colombia’s National Unit for Risk Management Disaster (UNGRD) says that 13,000 families are in need of humanitarian aid and relief after recent heavy rain and flooding in the department of Chocó on the country’s Pacific coast.

UNGRD also report that four people have died as a result of the flooding. The victims, which included 1 adult and 3 children, were part of an indigenous community in the municipality of Tadó.

Flooding has affected a total of 17 municipalities of the province since 18 October. The affected municipalities are: Medio San Juan, Sipí, Itsmina, Riosucio, Carmen del Darién, Juradó, Lloró, Bahía Solano, Atrato, Río Iró, Alto Baudó, Bajo Baudó, Quibdó, Tadó, Novita, Condoto and Litoral.

municipalities affected by flooding in Chocó Province, Colombia, October 2016. Image: UNGRD
municipalities affected by flooding in Chocó Province, Colombia, October 2016. Image: UNGRD

According to UNGRD, Alto Baudó, Medio San Juan and Condoto are the worst affected.

Several rivers, including the the San Juan, Condoto, Tamana, Bochoromá and Medio San Juan, have overflowed in the department.

The mayor of Condoto, Luz Marina Agualimpia Benitez, said that some families had lost everything after flooding hit parts of the municipality on 18 October, 2016. The mayor added that the Condoto River had reached levels never seen before, destroying everything in its path, after a downpour lasting more than ten 10 hours.

UNGRD has sent the equivalent of 115 tons of emergency humanitarian assistance including toiletry kits and bedding to affected areas of the department. Work is also set to begin on repairing roads and cleaning the affected areas, involving teams from civil protection and military.

Colombia Army and Civil Protection workers assist flood hit communities in Choco. Photo;
Colombia Army and Civil Protection workers assist flood hit communities in Choco. Photo; Ejército Nacional de Colombia

Flood Warnings

The country’s meteorological institute, El Instituto de Hidrología, Meteorología y Estudios Ambientales (IDEAM), issued warnings on for flooding rivers in Choco department on 19 October, 2016.

IDEAM has alos issued warnings for high river levels in the departments of Valle del Cauca, where the Anchicayá and Dagua are at risk of overflowing, and Antioquia, where several rivers including the San José, Tenche, Bagre, Nechí, Taraza, Nare and San Juan pose a risk of flooding.

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Flood summary

Last updated: October 22, 2016
Event
Chocó Department, Colombia, October 2016
Date
October 18, 2016
Type
Inland flood, River flood
Cause
Long-term rainfall

Locations

A - Condoto
B - Alto Baudó
C - Medio San Juan
D - Tadó

Magnitude

River level
Overflowing
San Juan River, Tadó - October 18 to October 22, 2016
River level
Overflowing
Condoto River, Condoto - October 18 to October 22, 2016

Damages

Fatalities
4 people
October 18 to October 22, 2016
Affected
60,000
Choco Department - October 18 to October 22, 2016
Estimated 60,000 people. UNGRD say almost 13,000