Colombia and Venezuela – Thousands Displaced as Rivers Continue to Rise

Thousands in Colombia and Venezuela continue to be affected by flooding from several rivers including the Orinoco, Caroní and Inírida rivers. Flooding first struck in June but worsened after a period of heavy rain in July.


In Venezuela, authorities said that a red alert has been declared on the Orinoco and Caroní rivers where flooding has reached historical levels.

The government says aid and relief operations have been deployed in the states of Amazonas, Delta Amacuro, Apure, Monagas, Guárico, Bolívar and Táchira.

Around 30 to 40,000 people (more than 6,000 families) are currently in care and shelter. At least 163 shelters have been activated to care for those affected. Food has been delivered to 38 municipalities.

Local media reported that the Orinoco River in Ciudad Bolívar, Bolívar State, stood at 18.04 metres on 14 August, equal with the record set in 1976. Two weeks ago on 01 August, the river stood at 17.40 metres.

Flood defences along the the Orinoco River in Bolivar State, Venezuela, August 2018. Photo: Government of Bolivar state


Unidad Nacional para la Gestión del Riesgo de Desastres (UNGRD) said Departments of Vichada and Guainía affected, by the overflow of the Orinoco and Inírida rivers and tributaries.

UNGRD said that 2,450 families are affected in Puerto Carreño. The districts of Santa Rosalía, Cumaribo and Primavera in Vichada department are also affected. A further 4,138 families affected by the floods in Inírida, Guainía department.

Colombia President Iván Duque Márquez, visited affected areas on Tuesday, 14 August, 2018.

As of 16 August, the Orinoco at Puerto Carreño stood at 16.38 metres, well above “red alert level” of around 14 metres. Meanwhile the Inírida river at the town of the same name stood at 14.51 metres, again well above the red alert level of 11 metres.

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