Colombia – Emergency Declared After Deadly Landslides and Floods in Cundinamarca

At least 8 people have died and 4 are missing after heavy rain caused landslides and flooding in parts of Cundinamarca department in central Colombia. Meanwhile national authorities report severe weather has affected over 20,000 people across the country since the start of the recent rainy season.

Civil Defence carry out search and rescue operations after a landslide in Cachipay, Cundinamarca, Colombia, April 2022. Photo: Civil Defence Colombia


The Governor of Cundinamarca, Nicolás Garcia, announced the declaration of public calamity for the whole of the Department in order to quickly respond to the effects of severe weather in recent days. In his statement of 23 April 2022, the governor said 85 municipalities out of 116 have been affected by severe weather since the start of the current rainy season.

The governor said, “We have decided to decree the public calamity in order to be able to attend immediately and provide faster technical support to each of the municipalities.” The governor said that money will be provided to repair more than 90 roads.

Severe landslides struck in the municipality of Viotá overnight 21 to 22 April. Authorities said 5 people died in Viotá where several houses were completely destroyed or damaged, leaving many families homeless. Landslides in Cachipay also damaged homes on 22 April. Two fatalities were reported.

Flooding has also affected municipalities in the department over the last few days including El Rosal, Puerto Salgar and Facatativá. Colombia’s Civil Defence reported one person died in floods in Anapoima.

The government of Cundinamarca reported 4 people missing after floods in Arbeláez municipality on 25 April, 2022.

Severe Weather in Colombia Leaves 33 Dead, 10 Missing

The country’s National Unit for Disaster Risk Management (UNGRD) reported on 25 April that 33 people have lost their lives, 10 are still missing and 45 people were injured as a result of sever weather since the start of the rainy season in mid-March this year.

UNGRD reported a total of 369 weather-related events, including strong winds, lightning strikes, hailstorms, 196 landslides and 134 floods or flash floods, across 210 municipalities in 22 departments from 16 March to 24 April.

Areas of Cundinamarca, Antioquia, Cauca, Valle de Cauca, Santander, Nariño, Tolima, Risaralda and Putumayo have been particularly affected by floods and landslides.

A total of 6,813 families have been affected (21,524 people), 117 homes destroyed and 3,025 damaged. In terms of infrastructure, 371 roads affected, 34 vehicular bridges and another 8 pedestrian bridges recorded damage.

Director of UNGRD, Eduardo José González Angulo, warned that the rainy season is likely to lasts until mid-June and urged people to remain alert to the dangers and adhere to warnings.

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