Colombia – 12 Dead, 1,067 Families Affected by Recent Severe Weather

Colombia’s National Disaster Risk Management Agency (UNGRD) reported on 14 April, 2018 that 12 people have died and 1,067 families have been affected as a result of severe weather since the start of the current rainy season.

According to UNGRD there have been a total of 103 severe weather events including floods, heavy rain, storms and landslides. The worst affected departments include Cundinamarca, Tolima, Antioquia, Boyacá, Santander, Norte de Santander, Nariño and Valle del Cauca.

The general director of UNGRD, Carlos Iván Márquez Pérez, said that the country is now less vulnerable to severe weather thanks to the construction of 5,400 mitigation works and the installation of over 100 warning systems.

However, the director added that more severe weather is expected across the country with a longer than normal rainy season possibly lasting until early June.

Over the last few days heavy rain has been reported in the departments of Nariño, Chocó, Cauca, Valle del Cauca, Antioquia, Santander, Norte de Santander, Boyacá and Cundinamarca and across the coffee-growing region.

The director warned that river levels are high in some areas, with potential flooding in areas near the upper and middle basin of the Cauca and Magdalena rivers, the Atrato River in Chocó, and streams and rivers in higher areas in Antioquia.

The aftermath of a landslide of April last year in Manizales in Colombia’s coffee growing region. Heavy rain has been reported in of the coffee growing region over recent days. The mountainous area is known to be vulnerable to landslides. Photo: Mayor of Manizales