Colombia – Thousands Affected as Floods Continue in the North

Flooding continues to affect thousands of people across several departments of northern Colombia after rivers overflowed, dams and embankments failed and further heavy rain.

Flood in Sucre, Colombia, September 2021. Photo: Government of Sucre Department

Throughout late August and early September rivers in northern Colombia, including the Cauca, Magdalena and San Jorge, were swollen after long-term heavy rainfall. The situation was worsened by the collapse of an embankment in San Jacinto del Cauca in the Bolívar Department. Communities along the rivers and in the low-lying marshland of the La Mojana region encompassing parts of Bolivar, Sucre, northern Antioquia and Cordoba departments were badly affected.

On 10 September, FloodList reported the flood situation in the region had affected over 50,000 people. Wide areas of crops have been damaged and thousands of livestock relocated.

Bolivar Department

According to Colombia’s Civil Defence, the situation is continuing for many communities in Bolivar Department. In a report of 22 September the organisation said 12,441 people were still affected in Magangué, where 2,181 homes and 7,000 hectares of land have been flooded.

Flooding is still ongoing in several communities in Achí municipality, where over 13,000 people are affected and 2,650 homes damaged, 2 destroyed and 2,750 hectares of land inundated. In San Jacinto del Cauca, a total of 9,325 people are affected and 1,865 homes damaged.

Magdalena Department

Flooding has affected parts of Tenerife Municipality in Magdalena Department after an embankment along the Magdalena River broke earlier in September. Several communities were left isolated for over 2 weeks.

Santander Department

Also in the north of the country, flooding affected Puerto Wilches municipality of Santander Department in the first week of September, according to Civil Defence. A total of 278 people were affected and 40 homes damaged.

Sucre Department

Local authorities reported severe flooding in the municipality of Coveñas on the Gulf of Morrosquillo in Sucre Department, northern Colombia after heavy rain from 22 September 2021. According to local authorities, some homes were evacuated. Civil Defence reported 1,715 people affected and 343 homes damaged.

Flood evacuation in Coveñas Sucre Colombia September 2021. Photo; Alcaldia de Coveñas


Flood damage in Coveñas Sucre Colombia September 2021. Photo: Alcaldia de Coveñas