15 people killed, thousands injured after weeks of severe weather in Colombia


15 people killed, thousands injured after weeks of severe weather in Colombia

Colombia’s National Unit for Disaster Risk Management (UNGRD) reported that 15 people have died this year (January 1 to March 12, 2021) due to severe weather.

UNGRD added that 16 more people were injured and two are still missing. A total of 5,854 families were directly affected. During this period, 289 severe weather events occurred, including 146 landslides, 45 floods and 32 flash floods.

Severe weather events were reported in 176 municipalities in 23 departments, notably Nariño, Huila, Cauca, Cundinamarca, Antioquia and Valle del Cauca.

Since around 8 March 2021, some parts of Valle del Cauca have experienced heavy rains, resulting in floods and landslides. Heavy rain caused flooding in parts of Santiago de Cali, capital of the Valle del Cauca department, on 10 March. Two people died in a landslide in the Siloe area of ​​the city.

Civil Defense reported deaths from floods in Florida (1 fatal) and Pradera (1 fatal) municipalities on March 8. On the same day, 35 people were affected by a flood in the municipality of Versailles on 8 March, which destroyed one house and damaged others.

On March 12, floods in Jamundi municipality affected 65 people, and the next day floods in Bugalagrande municipality affected 1,190 people, destroyed 2 houses and damaged 6. Local media also reported two deaths from lightning strikes in the municipalities of Palmyra and Caicedonia.

The flooding also affected the municipality of Miranda in the Cauca department, about 50 km southeast of Santiago de Cali. According to the Civil Defense, on March 14, 2021, 3 houses were damaged and 15 people were injured.