Flooding and landslides in northwestern Colombia have affected thousands of people over the last few days in particular in Antioquia and Cordoba Departments. Authorities report that rivers are at Red Alert levels in at least 8 locations in the north west of the country.
In Antioquia Department, wide areas of Caucasia Municipality were flooded after heavy rain from around 27 May, 2019. On 01 June, the Cauca River in Caucasia reached 4.52m, above Orange Alert level of 4.5m.
Local media reported that 30,000 people have been affected and an estimated 80% of the municipality is under water.
Also in Antioquia, flooding and landslides have closed roads, caused material damages and affected around 3,500 people in Copacabana Municipality.
According to reports by the Colombia Army, landslides and flooding closed parts of the Medellín-Bogotá highway in the village of Cabuyal, Copacabana municipality, from around 27 May 2019. A few days later on 30 May, another landslide, this time in Valdivia municipality, closed the road from Medellín to the Atlantic coast. Landslides were also reported in the municipality of Liborina, Antioquia Department.
In the neighbouring department of Cordoba, heavy rain from around 30 May caused flooding and several rivers to overflow, including the Sinú and San Jorge.
Local media reported that the flooding affected around 1,400 families from 9 municipalities (La Apartada, Lorica, San Pelayo, Cotorra, Montelíbano, San José de Uré, Puerto Libertador, Tierralta, and Valencia).
The worst hit area is the municipality of La Apartada, situated about 20km north west of Caucasia Municipality in Antioquia, close to the San Jorge River. Media reported that over 600 families have been affected in La Apartada.
Colombia’s Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (Instituto de Hidrología, Meteorología y Estudios Ambientales – IDEAM) reported levels of the San Jorge River were extremely high in Buenavista Municiplaity near La Apartada. On 28 May the river reached 7 metres, well above Red Alert level of 6.3m. Levels have since dropped to around 5.5 metres but are showing signs of rising once again.
Rivers at Alert Levels
As of 03 June, 2019, IDEAM reported that rivers in the departments of Antioquia, Santander, Bolivar, Cordoba and Magdalena in the north west of the country were at Red Alert level in at least 8 locations and at Orange Alert level in 3 locations.
#EsNoticia | El Ejército habilitó el tramo de la autopista Medellín – Bogotá y apoyó a las familias afectadas tras caída de tierra ocasionada por lluvias en Copacabana, #Antioquia. Más en >> https://t.co/diM24p1uZB pic.twitter.com/fr7KF9Amkr
— Ejército de Colombia (@COL_EJERCITO) May 28, 2019
Derrumbe tiene cerrada la vía que comunica a Medellin con la Costa Atlántica en el sector de Ventanas en Valdivia #Antioquia. Viajeros q necesitan llegar a su destino son ayudados por uniformados de @Ejercito_Div7 para pasar en medio del lodo. #OrgullosoDeMiEjército pic.twitter.com/1ye8CxKPYi
— Ejército de Colombia (@COL_EJERCITO) June 1, 2019