At least four people have died from the flood of the La Paila River in the department of Cauca, southwest of Colombia. On Tuesday afternoon, the rains of the winter caused an avalanche of mud and sticks that flooded part of the town of Corinth, about 30,000 inhabitants. From a nearby municipality the preventive system of alerts was activated and more than 3,000 people were evacuated on time, as reported by the President, Juan Manuel Santos. The dead, 29 wounded and, for the moment, a preliminary list of 18 disappeared, did not run the same fate. "The tragedy could have been worse if the alarms had not worked," the president assured from the affected area.
The water entered Corinth in an uncontrolled way, carrying houses, a bridge and affecting the sewer system, the hospital and two schools. "The Risk Management Unit (UNGRD) is developing a precise inventory of the affected households, studying whether to down or rebuild the main school, as well as other infrastructure damage," Santos said. The Colombian Government in collaboration with the army, local authorities and the UNGRD works from dawn in the first phase of response, the humanitarian, attending to more than 240 victims with shelter, food and toilet kits, among other elements of help.
"Tanks to supply drinking water are coming in," said the president. At the same time, a single record of affected persons is concretised to begin handing out lease subsidies to all those who have lost their home or need some kind of repair. The same procedure is carried out with the disappeared, work on a definitive list in the hope of finding them when they restore communications with the rural areas nearby, where they lost the trail.
The Institute of Hydrology Meteorology and Environmental Studies (IDEAM) had already warned that the second rainy season in Colombia, from mid-September to mid-December, was going to be the strongest of the year in several areas of the country, including Cauca, With special impact in October and November when the greatest rainfall is occurring.
The first rainy season that lasted from January to July left one of the worst natural tragedies in Colombia's history. Hundreds of people died in snot, near the border with Ecuador, by another avalanche. On that occasion, the flooding of several rivers due to the rains, the lack of urban planning and the erosion caused by deforestation contributed to the catastrophe.