Cali, Colombia, Nov 11 (EFE).- Colombia’s Cauca River overflowed in the department of Valle del Cauca, flooding neighborhoods of Cali, which began evacuations to try to avoid major tragedies as rains have already left 204 dead throughout the country in almost 11 months.
“We lost everything,” said Lina Cabal, who lives in a house in La Playa neighborhood of Puerto Mallarino, along with her mother and her sister – both disabled – two nephews, and a brother.
Before being evacuated, the five took refuge in the kitchen of the house, the only place that was not reached by the waters of the Cauca River, which also caused severe flooding in the towns of Palmira and Candelaria.
“The river continues to grow,” added the woman who agreed to go with her family to a friend’s house while the rains pass.
She complained to the Mayor’s Office of Cali because despite the announcements to her neighborhood, the promised aid has not arrived.
The Cauca River is the second largest in Colombia after the Magdalena River, and runs through about 180 municipalities in the departments of Cauca, Valle del Cauca, Quindío, Risaralda, Caldas, Antioquia, Córdoba, Sucre and Bolívar.
The situation of Cabal and her family is repeated throughout Colombia, where torrential rains have left 204 dead, 37 missing and 281 injured between Jan. 1 and Nov. 10.
Rainfall, the strongest in the last four decades, also left 488,502 people homeless (147,562 families) in 772 of Colombia’s 1,103 municipalities.
Similarly, 5,840 homes have been destroyed due to effects associated with the rains, and another 77,045 were seriously damaged.
In addition, 2,213 roads, 247 vehicular bridges, 114 pedestrian bridges, 321 aqueducts, 84 sewers, 19 health centers and 247 schools were affected by the rains or events associated with them.
The administration of President Gustavo Petro reported Tuesday that it had earmarked 2.1 billion pesos (about $437 million) to deal with the consequences of the rains on issues such as food, health and housing. EFE