Colombia – 25,000 Hit by Floods as 8 Rivers Overflow in Nariño

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that approximately 25,000 people have been affected by heavy rain and flooding the department of Nariño, Colombia.

A total of eight rivers have burst their banks since early January 2017. River levels have since returned to normal and according to Colombia’s Instituto de Hidrología, Meteorología y Estudios Ambientales (IDEAM), as of 03 February there were no alerts for any rivers in any parts of the country. However, there is a red level warning in place until 06 February for landslides in unstable areas in Barbacoas as a result of possible heavy rain.

OCHA reports that flooding has damaged homes, crops and livestock and affected at least 8 municipalities of Nariño department, situated in the west of the country bordering Ecuador and the Pacific Ocean.

One of the worst hit areas is the municipality of Olaya Herrera, where 11,360 people have been affected after the Sanquianga river overflowed.

Some of the worst flooding has also affected the municipality of Arboleda, where 65 houses have been damaged and 5 destroyed after the Quebrada Las Palmas overflowed.

Over 3,700 people have been affected in Barbacoas where the Telembí river burst its banks on 20 January. The Telembí has also flooded in parts of Roberto Payán, affecting 4,655 people.

The Magüi and Patía rivers have flooded parts of Magüi Payán affecting 2,720 people. The Patía has also flooded in Policarpa where 135 people have been affected.

In Santa Bárbara de Iscuandé, 1,201 people have been affected after the Iscuandé river overflowed. The Mira river in Tumaco has also burst its banks, affecting 1,680.

Many of the affected communities are in rural areas that have been difficult to reach during the flooding. It is likely that figures may rise once full damage assessments have been carried out.

European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) says that authorities have declared public calamity and the Local Coordination Teams are monitoring the situation. Up to date, main needs have been identified in food assistance, health, WASH, NFIs, livelihoods and education in emergencies.

Flood Summary

Last updated: February 15, 2017
Nariño Department, Colombia, January to February 2017
January 7 to February 15, 2017
River flood
Long-term rainfall


A - Olaya Herrera
B - Arboleda
C - Barbacoas
D - Roberto Payán
E - Payán
F - Policarpa
G - Santa Bárbara de Iscuandé
H - Tumaco


River level
Sanquianga river, Olaya Herrera - January 7 to February 15, 2017
River level
Telembí river in Barbacoas and Roberto Payán - January 7 to February 15, 2017
River level
Patía river in Payán and Policarpa - January 7 to February 15, 2017
River level
Iscuandé river in Iscuandé - January 7 to February 15, 2017
River level
Mira river in Tumaco - January 7 to February 15, 2017


Nariño Department - January 7 to February 15, 2017