Colombia: Hurricane Iota - DREF Plan of Action (MDRCO017)

Situation Report
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A. Situation Analysis

Description of the Disaster

Hurricane Iota, which passed through the Caribbean and moved towards Central America, was a category 5 hurricane prior to reaching the San Andrés archipelago (San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina department) on 16 November 2020. With winds of up to 240 km/ph., this hurricane also affected the departments of Antioquia, Arauca, Choco, Bolívar and Guajira (map).

According to preliminary evaluations, reported in the OCHA flash update no. 3 (17 November 2020) there are 228,000 affected people, 17 missing persons and 6 deceased persons. The OCHA flash update no. 3 (19 November 2020) reports 6,300 affected people in Providencia and at least 700 families in San Andrés. The Colombian Red Cross Society (CRCS) report (19 November 2020) issued through its crisis room indicates that 155,000 people have been affected in the Cartagena district in Bolivar department.

Official information from the government stating that 98 per cent of the infrastructure of the island of Providencia was affected. Hurricane Iota additionally caused damage to infrastructure, loss of property, belongings and road blockages. The municipal government of Providence and San Andrés published a list of 15 collective centres on Providencia island, many of which are located in faith-based institutions.

The Government of Colombia activated the National Risk Management System (SNGR) in coordination with the National Unit for Disaster Risk Management (UNGRD), to deploy response capacities in the affected departments. Within the attention framework, the following actions are planned: infrastructure repairs, basic sanitation, drinking water, temporary accommodation and humanitarian assistance. On 18 November 2020, the Colombian President issued a decree declaring a Departmental Disaster in San Andrés, Providencia, Santa Catalina and its keys.

However, shelter and hygiene kits, water, food, sanitation elements, medical personnel and medicines are among the most urgent needs to attend to people affected by the hurricane and the heavy rains. Medical staff will assist, as in coordination with State authorities.