Colombia: Floods OCHA Situation Report 21 May 2007

Situation Report
Originally published

The rainy season in the first semester of 2007

- Flooding and landslides affecting several municipalities of the province of Antioquia lead to the death of 13 persons, numerous persons injured and more than 600 families affected.

- A landslide blocked the road connecting Inzá with Popayán burying 3 members of the same family

Elaborated by OCHA with information

Saturday evening, the 19th of May, heavy rains started causing problems in several parts of the province of Antioquia. The rains caused flooding and landslides killing at least 13 persons. Hardest hit were the municipalities of Taraza and Valdivia.


Municipalities of Tarazá and Valdivia:

The rains of last Saturday caused the flooding of the river Taraza and several mountain streams. The water and mud of the river entered houses with levels up to a meter in the low lying parts of the town which carries the same name as the river. The flooding affected around 600 families (no exact figures yet because the census is not completed yet) in 5 neighbourhoods: San Nicolás, Puente Roto, La Lucha, El Paraíso y La Balastrera. 300 families were located in 4 temporal shelters / schools in higher lying areas of the municipality; others looked for shelter with family and friends. However the worst tragedy occurred in the rural area of Tarazá. The continued rainfall saturated deforested soil lead to several landslides, destroying houses and blocking roads. In the rural area Cañón de Iglesia, 6 people were buried by a landslide of which 3 were children.

In a rural area of the municipality of Valdivia a landslide killed 3 persons and injured 7 more and 17 houses were damaged.

The municipality of Barbosa:

In the municipality of Barbosa a landslide killed 1 person and injured 3 and affected 40 houses. The 40 families affected by the landslide found housing with neighbours, family and friends.

The municipalities of Nechi and Zaragoza:

The flooding of the river Nechi affected around 600 families in the municipalities of Nechi and Zaragoza. But according to DAPARD there are still no official figures.

National response

The governor of Antioquia visited the areas most affected and is coordinating the response with the director of DAPARD (The Provincial Disaster Response Department), Defensa Civil, The Red Cross, Fire Fighters and local authorities. Local authorities and emergency services are conducting census to identify the affected population and damages related to flooding and landslides.

The blockades of the access roads have slowed down the delivery of the aid to the affected municipalities. Local authorities and Invias are clearing the roads.10 tons of aid will be delivered in the coming hours.

The director of DNPAD informed that they contributed 6 ton in the form of food, hygiene and kitchen kits.

The Colombian Red Cross is in charge of the distribution of the aid to the affected families.

Internacional Response

OCHA Bogota and OCHA field offices are monitoring the situation and is keeping the UNETE team updated.

The UN will support the government if necessary and after an official petition of the government.


A landslide blocked the road connecting Inzá with Popayán burying 3 members of the same family. Until now only the body of the woman has been found. Today rescue services will continue their work to uncover the two remaining bodies. In the meanwhile the road stays closed. They will reassume the removing of the ruble as soon as they have found the bodies of the missing persons.

The first rainy season of 200 started at the first of march. At the 13th of may the SNPAD(1) reported 26 deaths, 55 injured, 4 missing, 151.526 persons affected, 30.742 families affected, 268 houses destroyed and 4.284 houses damaged.


(1) SNPAD: Sistema Nacional de Prevención de Desastres

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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