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Colombia Alerte de sécurité

Colombia: Torrential rains continue to batter the country

Various regions under alert for flooding and/or landslides as of June 14; transportation disruptions likely

TIMEFRAME expected from 14/6/2017, 12h00 until 14/6/2017, 11h59 (America/Bogota). COUNTRY/REGION Caribbean coast

Event

Various parts of Colombia remain on alert for flooding and landslides as torrential rains continue to batter large areas of the country. As of Wednesday, June 14, red alerts issued by IDEAM (Instituto de Hidrología, Meteorología y Estudios Ambientales) - the highest level - are in effect for parts of the departments of Antioquia and Cundinamarca. Lower orange alerts are in place in Arauca, Bolívar, Boyacá, Caldas, Casanare, Cauca, Cesar, Chocó, Córdoba, Guaviare, Magdalena, Meta, Putumayo, Risaralda, Santander, Sucre, and Tolima.

Context

Major flooding was reported on June 13 along the Guayuriba River in Villavicencio (Meta department) and along the Telembí River in Barbacoas (Nariño department), among other areas. Some airports in the west of the country were forced to temporarily suspend operations on June 13 due to these adverse weather conditions.

Torrential rains resulted in innumerable floods and landslides in recent months in large areas of Colombia. These rains had been a near-constant phenomenon since late February and have resulted in hundreds of deaths and widespread damage. While precipitation levels have fallen over the past two weeks, the risk has not yet totally passed; as the ground remains saturated by recent flooding, even regularly low levels for precipitation can trigger flash floods and mudslides.

Advice

Individuals present in affected areas are advised to keep abreast of the situation and to adhere to any orders issued by the local authorities (e.g. potential evacuation orders). 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 disposed of.

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