Colombia CO: Mocoa Avalanche Humanitarian Situation Report #5, 19 April 2017

Situation Report
Originally published


1,298 persons residing in 7 official shelters, many others in 15 spontaneous settlements around Mocoa
(United Command Post Mocoa, 18.04.2017)
316 persons dead, of which:
107 were children
332 persons injured
116 persons missing


  • Re-opening of schools initiates a return to normalcy in Mocoa.

  • Intense work readies educational sector for the return of 12,500 students.

  • Water filters, rehabilitation of water points and hygiene strategy to prioritize schools first.

  • Psychosocial activities ease the fear and trauma of children deeply affected by the disaster.

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

Two and a half weeks after the massive avalanche of 1 April 2017, Mocoa shows some signs of a gradual return to functioning urban life. The acute phase of the emergency has finished, according to the announcement of President Santos, but the intensive task remains of rebuilding the capital with an early recovery and resilience focus. Dredging and street clearing continues. The decision to re-open schools, following a two-week closuredue to damages and mourning, has begun to restore a sense of normalcy to thousands of families directly affected by the catastrophe. Seeing children safely back in schools serves to imbue parents, teachers, communities and the children themselves with a renewed sense of confidence in the normal routines of life. Thousands of persons remain in shelters—both the seven official structures and the 15 informal settlements that sprang up after the disaster. (Note: the numbers of shelters diminish each week, as the population gradually move out.) Food distribution has been maintained in the official shelters.