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Colombia: Widespread flash flood alerts in place May 16

Flash flood alerts in effect in numerous areas Wednesday, May 16, amid rainy season

16 May 10:20 AM UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 5/16/2018, 12:00 AM until 5/19/2018, 11:59 PM (America/Bogota). COUNTRY/REGION Antioquia, Boyacá, Caldas, Cesar, Córdoba, Cundinamarca, Huila, Norte de Santander, Santander, Valle del Cauca

Event

Heavy rain continues to batter much of the country as of Wednesday, May 16, amid the rainy season ongoing since the beginning of April. Red flash flood alerts - the highest warning level - issued by the Colombian weather service IDEAM are in place in parts of the following departments: Antioquia, Boyacá, Caldas, Cesar, Córdoba, Cundinamarca, Huila, Norte de Santander, Santander, and Valle del Cauca. Lower orange alerts are in place in various other parts of the country, including the capital Bogotá

Context

Flooding and landslides are common in Colombia during the rainy seasons, which typically occur in April-May and October-November. However, the current rainy season is expected to continue into June. Generally speaking, the flood risk is highest along rivers and the landslide risk is highest in hilly or mountainous zones, particularly in poorer areas lacking proper building code standards.

Advice

Individuals present in affected areas are advised to monitor developments to the situation and to adhere to any orders issued by the local authorities. Remember that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater or chemical products; all items having come into contact with the water should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded.

 

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