Floods in Chocó: alarming damages

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So far there are about 1,500 people affected in seven municipalities of Chocó

Floods in Chocó: alarming damages

The heavy rains over the Department of Chocó during the early hours of Saturday, which caused the overflow of five rivers that flooded several municipalities, left as consequence floods in localities such as San Juan, Iro, Condoto, Cértegui, Istmina and Quito and a balance of almost 1,500 families affected, according to the latest reports from the Risk Management Unit.

Leer en español: Inundaciones en Chocó: unas cifras alarmantes

It is a great paradox: while some municipalities in that department suffer from lack of water, others such as Istmina and Medio San Juan suffer flooding, even in the mountainous Andagoya, several of its inhabitants witnessed how the level of the San Juan River touched the suspension bridge, according to Caracol Noticias TV.

The same media published how an affected person from Itsmina, identified as Didier Restrepo, described the fact: "we are in the street of commerce, here we are totally flooded, commerce is 98 percent flooded, businesses with total loss".

Meanwhile, Eduardo José González, director of the National Unit for Disaster Risk Management, reported on his twitter account that "In the early hours of February 23 there were very heavy rains that affected five rivers in the department of Chocó. Six municipalities have been affected, fortunately, there are no reports of people who have lost their lives, are missing or are injured, and the authorities are doing the analysis of damages and needs, "according to Semana.

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Immediate help

In turn, President Iván Duque announced through his twitter account that the National Government provided immediate aid for 1,500 people affected by the floods in seven municipalities of Chocó, El Espectador reported.

"We work to address emergency floods in 7 municipalities of Chocó. I spoke a few minutes ago with mayors and local authorities. Immediate help was available for 1,500 people," said the Colombian leader from Cúcuta, where he was supporting humanitarian aid for Venezuela.

The Colombian government also installed a departmental risk management council, in which the Minister of the Interior, Nancy Patricia Gutiérrez and the National Unit for Disaster Risk Management (UNGRD) participate. At the time of writing this article, Eduardo González, director of the UNGRD, indicated that there were neither dead nor disappeared.


The most affected

Itsmina, a population of 25 thousand inhabitants, was one of those that received the most impact. The police command reported that the waters of the San Juan River increased its level surprisingly and that the flow went up so fast that there was not even time to alert the community about the emergency.

According to El Tiempo, several years ago the authorities of this town installed several alarms in the urban area in order to prevent people with several minutes of anticipation of a possible river flood. "When the siren rang, everything was already flooded," said one villager. Since 2011 Istmina did not suffer an emergency of this magnitude and, again, it mainly affected trade.

The authorities added that in Itsmina, the flood of the river destroyed two houses and that, during the evacuation, a volunteer firefighter from the municipality of Tadó was injured. In Condoto, the neighborhoods Comercio, Cabecera, Héroes, Salto Bolívar, Claret, Cascajero, and San Pedro also suffered consequences.

Before President Duque pronounced on the case, journalist Félix de Bedout tweeted in his personal account the following message: "Quiet, at some point the government of Colombia will take a little time out of its international agenda to attend the emergency in Chocó . #SOSItsmina." Other characters like Armando Benedetti, Juan Luis Castro, Santiago Moure, Gustavo Petro and Daniel Samper Ospina did something similar, Semana noted.


LatinAmerican Post | Onofre Zambrano

Translated from "Inundaciones en Chocó: unas cifras alarmantes"