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    Flooding Destroys More than a Dozen Homes, Forces Evacuation of Tens of Thousands in Mocoa

    Mocoa, the Putumayo capital where more than 300 people were killed by flash flooding and landslides in March 2017, was struck by severe flooding this weekend that affected at least 100 homes and forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of locals, according to Colombian officials.
    The rain and weather have led to the collapse of at least 14 houses, said the office of the president, but no deaths, significant injuries, or missing people have been reported.
    The National Unit for Disaster Risk Management (UNGRD) stated this morning that more than 20,000 people have been evacuated, while some local media reports published throughout the day have put he figure at more than 30,000.
    In addition to the houses that have been destroyed, a bridge has collapsed and the sewage system has been damaged in multiple neighborhoods.
    Areas in the departments of Vichada and Guainía have also been hit with severe flooding. Nearly 10,000 people and 200 homes have been affected in Vichada in addition to other infrastructure damage, according to the UNGRD.
    The agency has already spent more than $500,000 USD in response efforts, which have included setting up hundreds of tent shelters and handing out thousands of kits including food, personal essentials, and blankets.
    To address the crisis in Putumayo, President Iván Duque coordinated the response with the mayor of Mocoa this morning and sent a team of emergency officials who have arranged for tanker trucks to help provide potable water to the affected population.
    Duque said that he will travel to Mocoa and other affected areas on Tuesday.
    “Fortunately, there are no deaths,” said Duque in a statement, adding that this is “a situation that we must address with all of our determination.”
    While the river level in the area around Mocoa has reportedly gone down, officials have warned that more rainfall has been forecasted. Local residents are advised to heed further warnings and follow the instructions of officials.

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