Impact of natural disasters in Colombia 02 Jan - 26 Feb 2008

Situation Report
Originally published


1. Situation

During 2007, the Directorate for Disaster Prevention and Assistance (DPAD in Spanish) registered 1,550,528 persons affected belonging to 319,813 families. The events which affected the greatest number of persons were floods (1,398,164 people), for 90% of all affected persons, followed by wind storms (65,593 people), drought (23,500 people), landslides (17,588 people), earthquakes (12,410 people) and, with fewer than 10,000 affected by each: avalanches, eruptions and erosion.

An important percentage of the population affected in 2007 continues in 2008 in the recuperation process, including recovery of infrastructure (housing, roads, bridges, etc.) and recuperation of more than 40,0000 hectares for agricultural production.

While 2008 advances, DPAD's statistics between 2 January and 26 February 2008 list 5,600 families (29,472 people) affected in 18 departments, due to different natural events including flooding, landslides and wind storms, due to heavy rainfall since early this year in several regions of Colombia. In addition, dry spells have led to wildfires in other regions.

The most affected departments have been: Bolívar, Nariño, Cauca, Chocó, Valle del Cauca and Risaralda, where the number of affected families was over 100, totaling more than 600 people.

According to reports from IDEAM (28 February 2008), rainfall will continue over western and southern Colombia and heavier rainfall will occur in the Pacific and Amazon regions. Along the Cauca river La Virginia (Risaralda) is on alert due to high water levels. Also on alert is Puerto Salgar (Cundinamarca) for levels on the Magdalena river.

There continues alerts for sudden rises in water levels along the Pacific and in sloping areas in the Andean region and the Amazon piedmont. There are risks of landslides in areas of Antioquia and Cundinamarca departments.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit