Colombia assesses damage after mudslides, rains
December 10, 2010
MEDELLIN, Colombia – CFCA project offices in Colombia are still receiving reports of the damage from mudslides and heavy rains that have affected sponsored members and their families.
"Half of Colombia is flooded," said Martha Gutiérrez, from the CFCA Antioquia project in Medellin. "The Magdalena and Cauca rivers, which connect to the dikes at the north of the country, have flooded also, sweeping away everything that the water encounters."
Gutiérrez also said that the homes of two sponsored children's families were affected by a huge mudslide in the town of Bello on Dec. 5. One of the families had to evacuate as the home was no longer safe.
"They survived the mudslide because the mud avalanche stopped at their house limits," Gutiérrez said.
The mudslide buried 40 homes and killed at least 121 people. There have been no reports of deaths or injuries among sponsored members.
In Bogotá, the CFCA project there is supporting relief efforts under way.
"Here, among the staff, we worked on collecting clothes and money to bring to a site near Bogotá, practically transformed into a lake," said Judith Bautista, Bogotá project coordinator.
The project is also supporting the Red Cross aid efforts.
"Lots of fear and worry has occurred in the past days, because never in my beautiful Colombia has it rained so intensely," Bautista said.
Nationwide, Gutiérrez said, about 200,000 hectares (nearly 500,000 acres) of productive land is under water and an estimated 40,000 cattle have been killed. About 227,000 homes were destroyed.
"The damages are incalculable and represent a huge challenge for the country," she said. "With God's help we will overcome this disaster."