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Colombia: Emergency for extensive flooding, severe winter (rainy season) and rupture of Dique Canal

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  • Colombia: Emergency for extensive flooding, severe winter (rainy season) and rupture of Dique Canal

    Colombia?s Own Katrina: Rupture of Dique Canal

    Published at 12:55 pm, December 16, 2010

    The heavy rainfalls that spurrred state of emergency calls in Venezuela and northern Colombia, have caused a canal that connects the coastal city of Cartagena with the Magdalena river to rupture and submerge half of the state of Atl?ntico in Colombia under close to 80 million cubic meters of water (0.0191930207 cubic miles or 2.82517334 ? 10⁹ cubic feet).
    To understand the extent of the disaster, every week that the Canal remains ruptured is approximately equivalent to dumping the entire volume of St. Clair, one of the Great Lakes, on the region. It is estimated that even after the rupture is repaired, homes in the area will stay submerged for at least two to four months.


  • #2
    Re: Colombia: Emergency for Colombia?s Own Katrina: Rupture of Dique Canal

    Colombia flooding continues with thousands homeless

    16 December 2010 Last updated at 05:02 ET
    Full text:
    This year's rainy season has been exceptionally severe
    Continue reading the main story Related stories

    Heavy rains have continued to hit Colombia where two million people have been affected by widespread flooding.
    President Juan Manuel Santos said nearly 1m hectares (3,860 sq miles) of farmland were under water, describing the situation as a "great tragedy".


    Water is continuing to flood towns and land in northern Colombia where a levee along the Dique Canal that connects Cartagena Bay with the Magdalena River ruptured at the end of November.


    • #3
      Re: Colombia: Emergency for Colombia?s Own Katrina: Rupture of Dique Canal

      Floodwaters submerge dozens of villages in northern Colombia

      Published December 16, 2010

      Santa Lucia – Floodwaters triggered by heavy rains have submerged dozens of villages in northern Colombia and caused an estimated 10 trillion pesos ($5.26 billion) in damage to crops, homes and infrastructure in a single province.Large-scale flooding in Atlantico province began on Nov. 30, when the Canal del Dique - a major canal that connects Cartagena Bay with the Magdalena River, Colombia's most important - ruptured and some 1,700 cubic meters (60,000 cubic feet) of water per second began rushing out of a 214-meter-long, 12-meter-deep hole in the canal bank.
      The emergency zone also extends beyond Atlantico to the neighboring provinces of Bolivar, Sucre and Magdalena, where the local population is facing serious health risks related to a contaminated water supply.

      Read more:

      [Detailed account on affected areas, infrastructure, production, etc.]

      Read more:
      Last edited by LaMenchos; December 17, 2010, 10:40 AM. Reason: add info


      • #4
        Re: Colombia: Emergency for Colombia?s Own Katrina: Rupture of Dique Canal

        Heavy rains continue as Colombia seeks to aid flood victims

        Weeks of rain has caused flooding that has claimed more than 250 lives and affected more than 1.9 million people. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is to offer advice on how to repair a breached levee.

        December 15, 2010|By Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times
        Reporting from Bogota, Colombia —

        ... the breach of an important canal levee — has caused flooding that has killed 257 people and affected more than 1.9 million residents, or nearly 5% of the population.

        More than 320,000 schoolchildren are without classrooms, and 1.5 million acres of farmland and cattle pastures have been inundated. Dozens of roads and bridges have been washed out. Officials in Cartagena said this week that most roads leading into the northern port city were closed.

        Last edited by LaMenchos; December 17, 2010, 10:53 AM. Reason: add info


        • #5
          Re: Colombia: Emergency for Colombia?s Own Katrina: Rupture of Dique Canal

          I have posted several image links in the Spanish version of this thread. Somehow those links are not working when tested from this post. Sorry about that.

          These English subtitles correspond to those in Spanish in

          • Dique Canal (as it used to be)
          • Dique Canal Ruptured
          • Description of the Canal and affected areas (Visual using Google Earth, Spanish audio)
          • Early condition of the rupture
          • PowerPoint photos of the magnitude of the tragedy
          • Videos vast areas flooded by the Magdalena River


          • #6
            Re: Colombia: Emergency for extensive flooding, severe winter (rainy season) and rupture of Dique Canal

            Colombia: Emergency in all the northern portion of the country due to severe flooding; rupture of Dique canal; numerous other areas throughout the country also affected by long rainy season

            Spanish-to-English translation of excerpts posted in

            One-half of Department of Atlantico flooded by rupture of Dique Canal
            Posted on December 16, 2010

            The tragedy of over one hundred thousand people living in Bolivar and Atlantico this winter (rainy season) is not only the result of La Nina, but of centuries of mismanagement of natural resources; one of the worst tragedies in Colombia.

            The Dique Canal is 106 kilometers long and 100 meters It is an important waterway for trade in the country, connecting the Magdalena River, Colombia?s largest river, with the Atlantic ocean, near Cartagena.


            New break in the dam channel affects the municipality of San Estanislao, Bol?var
            By: RCN Radio

            A gap of 15 meters opened in the Canal del Dique near the town of San Estanislao, Dept. of Bolivar.

            In RCN Radio, the director of INVIAS, Carlos Rosado Zu?iga said that technicians from the Institute are assessing the extent of the damage and possible solutions.


            Tragedy in Colombia for one of the worst rains in history

            December 17, 2010

            Bogot? / Notimex - Rains, have left 257 dead, two million people affected and thousands of homes and crops destroyed. It is one of the worst in history, say Americans flood control experts.

            Engineers who helped the recovery of New Orleans, devastated in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina, agreed on Wednesday that it will be difficult to rehabilitate the areas flooded by the break Colombian Canal del Dique.
            According to the Ministry of Interior, the rains left 257 dead, nearly two million people affected, 268 wounded, 75 missing, three thousand houses destroyed and over 300 000 damaged in 695 municipalities.

            Landslides and floods, which hit 28 of 32 Colombian departments have swept 654 000 hectares of crops and damaged 678 roads, 57 road bridges and 118 local water systems.


            Canal levee rupture leaves more than a hundred people affected

            Source: Canal RCN

            The southern section of the Department of Atlantic is completely flooded. The Governor gave order to completely evacuate the population.

   C3% B3_m% C3% A1s_de_ cien_poblaciones_afectadas

            Sinu river overflows in Cordoba and Sucre; compounds the drama

            By: RCN Radio

            Department of Cordoba

            The rise of the Sinu River worsened the situation of the inhabitants of the municipalities of Ceret?, Tierra Alta and Lorica, in the department of Cordoba. Meanwhile, the Army and the Red Cross evacuated 130 families in the region.

            The townships of San Bernardo del Viento, Valencia, Lorica, San Pelayo, Tierra Alta, Parrot, Ceret? and Monteria, Cordoba, are at serious risk.

            Department of Sucre Emergency
            ... The conditions of emergency in that department is exacerbated mainly by lack of central government support to assist over 300 thousand people affected.

            The medical situation is also complicated. "Several wounded were evacuated to a school located in high places; serious people have been moved on boats for hospitalizations in nursing homes in other municipalities in the department,"

            Several areas began to flood sooner than expected due to the overflow of the Urra dam.


            Canal del Dique break forces evacuation in Soplaviento, Dept. of Bolivar
            By: RCN Cartagena

            Inhabitants of the municipality of Soplaviento [12,000] in Bolivar were forced to evacuate their homes as a result of the rupture of the Canal del Dique and the breaking of another dam located in the vecinity.

            "At the moment the water has entered the village and we presume it will soon be completely flooded. Families are evacuating because the waters are rising quickly, "said villager.

            The situation was aggravated by overflow from the Capote swamp, which had been stopped by a handmade barricade built by the community.


            Foreign Relations Chancellor Holgu?n delivers food to the victims of the winter in the Guajira
            By: RCN Radio

            ... Foreign Relations Chancellor Holgu?n delivers food to the victims of the winter in the Guajira for problems caused by winter in the department of La Guajira, which to date has left more than 200,000 people homeless and 14 dead.
            The death toll brought by this area?s winter rains continues to multiply. The Chancellor has called on Colombians to contribute their help in order to meet the needs of those who have lost everything this winter.


            Gulf of Morrosquillo isolated by destruction of roads and bridges
            By: RCN The Radio

            To the plight of more than 103 thousand people in the San Jorge, Mojana and Sucre, we add some eight thousand affected in the Gulf of Morrosquillo, where the destruction of roads and fallen bridges due to the overflow of Pechel?n Arroyo, has isolated this region.

            Hundreds of families in Cove?as, Toluviejo, Tolu are stationed on the roads, because their homes were flooded. Also affected is San Onofre.

            Inhabitants of the Township Rinc?n del Mar, in San Onofre, launched an SOS to the national government requesting help with materials to contain the erosion of beaches and the effects of the swell.
            In the southern area of the department, an evacuation of some 2,000 people is planned for this afternoon (Dec 17). The inhabitants have been forced to live on roofs and treetops, and it is imperative to evacuate this area of the municipality of Sucre, in the department of Sucre, which is into its eighth month of flooding.

            Infrastructure and agricultural systems are seriously damaged.


            New emergency in the valley of the river Frayle
            By: RCN Cali

            Thousand 500 houses are about to be flooded in the town of Palmyra for another onslaught of the river Frayle.

            This tributary caused the levee breach at the height of the village of Dolores in a stretch of 60 meters, flooding a manger and a number of crops and threatening to flood area homes and factories.


            • #7
              Re: Colombia: Emergency for extensive flooding; numerous landslides throughout the country

              <table width="100%" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr id="trHeadline"><td class="articleTitle" valign="top">Tens killed in Colombia landslide [Department of Antioquia] </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="Tmp_hSpace10">
              </td> </tr> <tr> <td> Rescue officials say at least a third of the 30 retrieved bodies are children.

              Last Modified: 08 Dec 2010 03:08 GMT
              </td></tr><tr><td class="DetailedSummary">...
              Colombian rescue officials have said they retrieved the bodies of 30 people, at least a third of them children, who died in a massive weekend mudslide.
              "They have recovered 30 bodies and rescue operations are continuing," Jorge Humberto Salazar, a spokesman with the government of the department of Antioquia, said on Tuesday.

              At least 90 people are still missing but continued heavy rains diminished hopes of finding survivors alive.
              Officials said a wall of mud slid down a sodden hillside on Sunday, burying about three dozen homes near Medellin, Colombia's second-largest city.
              The tragedy occurred after a hillside perched above the La Gabriela neighborhood in the town of Bello gave way.




              • #8
                Re: Colombia: Emergency for extensive flooding, severe winter (rainy season) and rupture of Dique Canal

                CHF International Responding to Flooding
                in Colombia and Montenegro

                The second half of 2010 has been marked by severe flooding in much of the world. While flooding in Pakistan has dominated the headlines, floods in Colombia and the Balkans have displaced families and inflicted serious damage to homes, land and infrastructure.


                CHF International is currently responding to one of the most underreported natural disasters of 2010. Unusually heavy seasonal rains in Colombia have caused massive flooding and subsequent mud and landslides, affecting over 1.5 million people. Since September the flooding has caused over 170 deaths, 220 injuries and damaged over 230,000 homes. On November 18, the Colombian government declared a public emergency in the Capital District and 28 of the country?s 32 provinces. The rising water levels have isolated many rural communities, and countless hectares of agricultural land have been lost.
                In response to this emergency CHF is procuring two different types of non-food item (NFI) kits- hygiene kits and household kits- to be distributed to 1,550 households, assisting 7,750 people. The hygiene kits include basic items such as soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, sanitary towels and razors to meet immediate health needs of the flood-affected peoples. The household kits, aimed at temporarily assisting families, consist of plastic sheeting to act as a protective shelter, a mattress, a 10 or 16-liter cooking pot and a water filter. The distribution o f NFI kits is intended to meet current humanitarian needs, save lives and prevent large-scale health and security risks.



                • #9
                  Re: Colombia: Emergency for extensive flooding, severe winter (rainy season) and rupture of Dique Canal

                  Aid sent after record rains flood Colombia

                  Source: Tearfund

                  Date: 15 Dec 2010

                  Main points:
                  • Two million people have been made homeless
                  • Roads swept away
                  • Overall damage is estimated at US$5 billion
                  • Red Viva Network is set to deploy aid to the towns of C?rdoba, San Andr?s and Sabana Grande.
                  • Priority will be given to helping female-headed households, families with children vulnerable to illness and people living in temporary shelters and tents.
                  • La Nina: Colombia's flooding is being blamed on the La Nina phenomenon.
                  • Colombia's National Meteorological Institute reports that cities on the Caribbean coast had five times the average monthly rainfall in November.


                  • #10
                    Re: Colombia: Emergency for extensive flooding, severe winter (rainy season) and rupture of Dique Canal

                    Winter in Colombia has flooded 28 of the 32 departments
                    Colprensa | Bogota |

                    This excerpt is machine translated. The original document in Spanish is from November 17, 2010, a little less than a month before the Dique Canal broke. The magnitude of the floods had already manifested itself in thousands homeless and hundreds of deaths. By then, twenty-eight of the 32 departments in the country were under water. [80% of departments including the areas of:]
                    • Antioquia, ... landslides and overflowing of the Cauca River and its tributaries. Venice, Salgar, La Pintada, Concordia, Nech?, Santa Fe de Antioquia, Fredonia, Zaragoza, Vigia del Fuerte, Murind? and the Bajo Cauca, Caucasia, C?ceres, Taraz? and Valdivia.
                    • Atlantic, only 8,635 families affected in Barranquilla, while in 10 municipalities in the department of the cold wave has left 5 000 families homeless.
                    • Santander, only in November, the winter has left 5 people dead, 5,000 affected families in 21 municipalities affected by landslides and destroying 90 percent of the tracks. Puerto Wilches, Barrancabermeja flooded by the overflow of rivers Magdalena and Sogamoso. In Giron was declared a red alert by increased river flow Gold Garc?a Rovira, east of Santander, are most affected by the destruction of roads, especially via Bucaramanga - Malaga, where there are at least 20 landslides .
                    • Norte de Santander, for Zulia river overflow were affected the people of Puerto Villamizar, Vereda Puerto Le?n and 57, located in the municipality of Zulia, C?cuta metropolitan area.
                    • Valle del Cauca about 30 municipalities are in emergency (71 per cent of the population). In the Cauca River growing populations most affected are the Victoria, Zarzal Roldanillo, Bolivar, Tulua, Rio Frio, Mediacanoa, among others. In Tulua, The Eagle and Seville are cut off its districts for the destruction of the roads. In an emergency in the municipality of Jamundi were flooded more than 10 neighborhoods by the overflowing river of the same name of the town.
                    • Coffee growing areas: Quind?o where more than 150 families have been affected, mainly in the municipalities surrounding mountain ranges. Caldas especially the road from Manila to Bogot?, which latches full 9 days total.
                    • The areas adjoining the rivers Cauca and Magdalena for possible flooding.

                    Spanish version of this excerpt by LaMenchos:
                    Original text in Spanish:


                    • #11
                      Re: Colombia: Emergency for extensive flooding, severe winter (rainy season) and rupture of Dique Canal

                      Official Map of Colombia showing all Departments, Magdalena, Cauca and other important rivers.



                      • #12
                        Re: Colombia: Emergency for extensive flooding, severe winter (rainy season) and rupture of Dique Canal

                        The Troubled Waters of the Magdalena River - Environment
                        Mar?a Isabel Garc?a*

                        The date of this article is 2004 but the topic is certainly relevant to the current crisis in Colombia. View entire article in

                        BOGOTA, Feb 9 (Tierram?rica) - The bed of the Magdalena River, the main waterway and a national symbol of Colombia, this year will see oil drilling for the first time, a new threat to an area already assailed by human activity.

                        "Now there are more cows than fish, and who knows what will happen with the oil that the press said was found here," said Rosendo Galvis, with a note of nostalgia. He supplies fish from the Magdalena to restaurants in central Bogot?.

                        But it is not just fish in the river that are on decline. Deforestation, erosion, contamination and the disappearing wetlands around it affect a quarter of the population in this country of 40 million people.

                        Oil drilling is slated to begin in October.

                        Along the 1,540-km course of the Magdalena there are 73 municipalities, and more than 700 populations in the jurisdiction of 18 departments.


                        • #13
                          Re: Colombia: Emergency for extensive flooding, severe winter (rainy season) and rupture of Dique Canal

                          Great Loss of Life in Colombian Flood - NY Times

                          This article opens in pdf format



                          • #14
                            Photos illustrate nature of road damage in highland areas

                            Photos illustrate nature of road damage in highland areas

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