Colombia – Floods in Cundinamarca and Huila Leave 1 Dead and 2,000 Displaced

Recent heavy rain in central and western areas of Colombia has caused flooding in the 3 departments of Antioquia, Cundinamarca, and Huila.

At least one person was killed in floods in Gachetá in Cundinamarca. Around 2,000 people have been evacuated after flooding in Rivera, Huila, where over 100 homes have been destroyed. In Antioquia minor flooding affected the cities of Medellín and Itagüí and parts of the Aburrá Valley between 21 and 23 February.

Colombia’s meteorological agency IDEAM (Instituto de Hidrología, Meteorología y Estudios Ambientales) says that the conditions are unusual and the heavy rain is falling during what would normally be considered the dry season.

In Cundinamarca the heavy rain increased levels of the Amuladero River near the village of Gachetá. The river overflowed, destroying at least 3 homes and leaving one person dead. One house was completely destroyed and 3 others severely damaged. Around 44 families have been affected in total.

Colombia’s disaster management agency (Unidad Nacional para la Gestión del Riesgo de Desastres – UNGRD) says that more people are missing in the wake of the flooding. A team of more than 70 people from the National Risk Management System, including the Departmental Council for Disaster Risk Management, the Red Cross, the National Police, the Fire Department and the Civil Defense Department, are at the scene of the flood.

As of 23 February there was a fear that further heavy rain could result in more rivers overflowing, including the Gachetá, Lenguazaque and Ubaté.

In Huila, the Frio and Neiva rivers in Rivera overflowed on 21 February, 2017. Around 2,000 people have been evacuated as a result of the flooding. Several roads and 2 bridges have been destroyed. UNGRD reports that 120 homes have been destroyed and around 50 severely damaged.

Aftermath of the floods in Cundinamarca, Colombia, February 2017. Photo: UNGRD
Aftermath of the floods in Rivera, Huila, Colombia, February 2017. Photo: UNGRD
Aftermath of the floods in Rivera, Huila, Colombia, February 2017. Photo: UNGRD
Aftermath of the floods in Rivera, Huila, Colombia, February 2017. Photo: UNGRD

Flood summary

Last updated: February 24, 2017
Event
Antioquia, Cundinamarca, and Huila, Colombia, February 2017
Date
February 21, 2017
Type
River flood
Cause
Long-term rainfall

Locations

A - Medellín
B - Itagüí
C - Gachetá
D - Rivera

Damages

Fatalities
1 person
Gachetá, Cundinamarca - February 21 to February 23, 2017
Evacuated
2000 people
Rivera, Huila - February 22, 2017