Colombia: Earthquake OCHA Situation Report 24 May 2008



The Colombian National System for Disaster Prevention and Response informed that, on May 24 at 14:20 an earthquake hit the municipality of El Calvario in the central region of Colombia. The epicenter was located at 10.2 Km from the municipal capital of the El Calvario municipality. The following table resumes the technical specifications of the seismic activity:

Latitude 4.40 DEGREES NORTH
Longitude 73.79 DEGREES WEST
Depth Superficial (less than 30 KM)
Magnitude 5.5 (RICHTER)
Closest city VILLAVICENCIO a 29.6 km, 300,000 inhabitants, approximately

The Colombian National seismologic network recorded further additional seismic activity:

1. Hour: 3:08 PM l, seismic activity (magnitude 4.5), epicenter located at 9.3 Km of the Municipal capital of San Juanito, Meta department.

2. Hour: 3:08 PM l, seismic activity (magnitude 4.5), epicenter located at 9.3 Km of the Municipal capital of Fomeque, Cundinamarca department.


The Colombian National System for Disaster Prevention and Response informed that the earthquake affected 5 municipalities in the department of Cundinamarca: Quetame, Fosca, Guayabetal, Fómeque, Bogotá and El Calvario in Meta.

The earthquake left a final balance of 6 deaths and 65 people injured. Approximately 9.000 persons resulted affected by the destruction of their houses.

The Directorate of Disaster Prevention and Response (DPAD) also confirmed that in Quetame (Cundinamarca) 660 houses presented different level of damages, 300 in the urban area and 360 in the rural areas of the same municipality.

Additionally in the urban area of El Calvario, Meta, 40 urban hoses were also damaged and 60 houses in the rural area (town of San Francisco).


The Directorate of Disaster Prevention and Response (DAPAE) is coordinating via the regional committee (CREPAD) the distribution of food and no-food items for the affected population: 600 mattresses, 600 blankets, 300 hygiene kits, 500 food rations, 15 rolls of plastic sheeting, mineral water for the affected population in Quetame municipality. In addition 150 mattresses, 300 blankets, 150 hygiene kits, 150 food rations,15 rolls of plastic sheeting for the municipality of Guayabetal.

The Family Welfare Institute -ICBF-, is providing food aid for the affected population.

The Colombian Red Cross has two pre-hospital units available with operational personnel in Puente Quetame and Guayabetal in order to support humanitarian efforts and provide assistance to the injured. CRC also, provided 470 blankets, 34 mattresses and clothing for Quetame and an electric generator and food aid for Guayabetal.

In addition, the Ministry of Social Protection sent specialized ambulances from Bogotá and put two hospitals in Bogotá and Soacha on alert to assist the emergency; the hospital of Cáqueza provided assistance for 27 injured and one child who died, while the District CRU sent 4 ambulances to Puente Quetame.

The Colombian Air Force flew over the affected area in Meta and Cundinamarca and along the Bogotá - Villavicencio highway in the Puente Quetame area in order to support reconnaissance and rescue when necessary. In addition, provided transportation for DPAD's and ICBF's support personnel and humanitarian aid from Bogotá to the air base of Apiay in Meta department.

The Unified Firefighter Command of Gachetá post coordinated activities in Guasca, La Calera and Cáqueza and sent two firefighter units from Villavicencio to the zone, providing water supplies for temporary shelters.

The Government of Cundinamarca provided portable latrines for temporary shelters in Puente Quetame.

The National Road Institute - INVIAS - coordinated with the concession of the Bogotá - Villavicencio highway on rehabilitation efforts for local roads.

The RC/HC and OCHA are maintaining close contacts with Colombian National System for Disaster Prevention and Response in order to mobilize resources, if requested.


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