At least one person has died and substantial material damage has been caused as Hurricane Iota swept through the small Caribbean island of Providencia on Monday, November 16. According to Colombian President Iván Duque, communication was lost with island officials in the early hours of Monday morning and by the time contact was re-established on Monday evening, the island's mayor informed the President that, as well as the fatality, 98 percent of the island's infrastructure had been destroyed. Further information is still awaited as to the true extent of the damage, with further casualties a possibility. The government has dispatched a navy vessel to provide humanitarian assistance, which was expected to arrive on Tuesday, November 17, and efforts are being made to clear the island's one runway to allow aid to arrive.
Continued disruptions to communications on the island are expected in the near term, as are disruptions to other services following the damage to infrastructure. Residual disruptions are expected over the coming months as the island faces an extensive reconstruction task.
Those in Providencia are advised to monitor the situation, avoid walking or driving through floodwaters, adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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