Disasters & Accidents

Uncertainty looms year after hurricane struck Colombian island

By Jorge Gil Angel

Bogotá, Nov 15 (EFE).- Families on the Caribbean island of Providencia continue to suffer from the devastating effects of hurricane Iota, which battered the Colombian paradise a year ago and left most of its 5,000 inhabitants homeless.

Colombia’s president Iván Duque pledged a 100-day reconstruction plan in the wake of the devastating category five hurricane.

One year on, progress is sluggish.

The plan identified the need to repair 877 homes and rebuild 910. So far, 962 homes have been completed, 54% of the total, according to authorities.

“The island will be ready to open (to tourism) in Easter 2022,”  said Susana Correa, director of the department for social prosperity (DPS) and manager of the Providencia reconstruction plan.

The population of Providencia is mainly Raizal, an Afro-Caribbean ethnic group native to the San Andres archipelago to which the island belongs.

Their primary concern is that the makeshift field hospital that was set up in the hurricane’s aftermath is still operating and work on a permanent replacement has not yet begun.

The archipelago has some 200 active Covid-19 cases, many of which are in Providencia.

The island lacks the specialist units to treat patients who develop serious cases of the disease.

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