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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Flood Summary

Last updated: August 24, 2018
Orinoco Basin, Venezuela and Colombia, July to August 2018
July 20, 2018
River flood
Long-term rainfall


A - Vichada (Colombia)
B - Guainia (Colombia)
C - Amazonas (Venezuela)
D - Delta Amacuro
E - Apure
F - Monagas
G - Guárico
H - Bolívar. (Venezuela)
I - Táchira (Venezuela)


Rainfall level
818.6 mm in month
Santo Domingo del Táchira, Táchira, Venezuela - July 1 to July 31, 2018
According to Venezuela Meteorologist Luis Vargas Santo Domingo del Táchira recorded 818.6 mm of rainfall in July. Monthly average is 331mm.
River level
17.40 metres
Orinoco River, Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela - August 1 to August 1, 2018
The record level is 18.04m set in August 1976.
River level
12.72 metres
Caroní River, Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela - July 31 to July 31, 2018
River level
18.04 metres
Orinoco River, Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela - August 14 to August 14, 2018
Rainfall level
16.38 mm in 24 hours
Orinoco, Puerto Carreño, Vichada, Colombia - August 16 to August 16, 2018
Red alert level is around 14 metres.
Rainfall level
14.51 mm in 24 hours
Inírida river, Inírida, Colombia - August 16 to August 16, 2018
Red alert level of 11 metres


2 people
Venezuela - July 20 to August 24, 2018
Venezuela - July 20 to August 24, 2018
Colombia - July 20 to August 24, 2018