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Montevideo, September 24th 2023 - 05:03 UTC



Hurricane Julia affects over 4,900 families in Colombia

Tuesday, October 11th 2022 - 10:20 UTC
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Petro announced direct contracting for the construction of houses and of a resistant sewage system Petro announced direct contracting for the construction of houses and of a resistant sewage system

Over 4,900 families have been affected in northern Colombia due to the passage of Hurricane Julia, which has caused substantial damage, leading authorities to declare a state of public calamity in the department of La Guajira, it was reported Monday.

Javier Pava, head of the National Unit for Disaster Risk Management, said Julia, a category one hurricane, hit the Colombian archipelago of San Andres and Providencia on Saturday and also left extensive damage in the mainland, especially in the department of La Guajira.

On the islands, the hurricane caused only two injuries and minor damage to homes and infrastructure, but there were areas of the Colombian Caribbean coast that suffered greater damage from flooding while Julia was still a tropical storm.

Pava said the department of La Guajira, in the northernmost part of the country, was declared in a state of public calamity after more than 4,900 families were affected. He pointed out that the most affected places were Riohacha, Uribia, Distracción, and Dibulla, where 13 tons of humanitarian aid of food and kitchen kits for vulnerable populations have already been sent.

Colombian Ombudsman Carlos Camargo said that “the delivery of humanitarian aid, emergency care, and healthcare must be guaranteed, especially in the department of La Guajira, where

there was heavy flooding, damage to homes, and loss of household goods.”

The Ombudsman's Office also warned of the risk of flash floods, overflows, and floods in the departments of Antioquia, Córdoba, Magdalena, Bolívar, Cesar, Atlántico, Meta, Norte de Santander, Boyacá and Santander.

Other towns affected by Julia were Baranoa, Palmar de Varela, and Santo Tomás, in the department of Atlántico, where the homes of more than 200 families were flooded.

Baraona Mayor Roberto Celedón requested assistance from national authorities to attend to the emergency and speed up the delivery of aid to the affected families.

President Gustavo Petro went Sunday to San Andres to oversee the reflief efforts in arguably the area most affected by Julia, which presented sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour.

“President Gustavo Petro is in San Andres after the passage of Hurricane Julia, to assess the damage and affectations left by this climatic phenomenon,” a statement from the President's Office on Twitter read.

Joining Petro were Ministers Carolina Corcho (Health); Catalina Velasco (Housing), and Susana Muhamad (Environment); in addition to Pava.

“The lack of use of shelters, the lack of knowledge about where the shelters are, the architectural systems that allow for more resistant roofs, which would have to be put in place with the help of the State, the lack of a sewerage system capable, at least, of withstanding the first stages, the mildest hurricanes,” said Petro, who also announced “direct contracting for the construction of houses, for the improvement of the tree plan, which is failing, and for, hopefully, the construction of a resistant sewage system.”

Categories: Environment, Latin America.

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