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About 600 evacuated in Colombia after flooding from Cauca river

Staff Writer | May 14, 2018
Colombian authorities evacuated around 600 people on Sunday from the town of Valdivia in northern Antioquia Department after the Cauca river burst its banks and destroyed 19 houses, a clinic, a school and a bridge.
flooding from Cauca river
Weather   Families have been resettled in improvised shelters
According to the local risk management council, families have been resettled in improvised shelters until the situation returns to normal. People living along the river are also being evacuated in the towns of Taraza, Briceno, Caceres, Nechi and Caucasia.

"We are evacuating certain families... at this moment, we do not have the total number of families being evacuated. We are only just beginning the contingency plan," said Didier Fernando Lopez, Valdivia's risk management director, to the local press.

The state government of Antioquia is also bringing in humanitarian supplies to the affected area.

Bogota has dispatched elements from the army, the police and the disaster management unit to the area while the Red Cross is also on the ground.

According to authorities, the rapid rise in the Cauca river's water level was due to the unblocking of a water evacuation tunnel on Saturday, which had been affected by a landslide at the nearby Ituango hydropower project.

By 6:00 p.m. Saturday, a new blockage had been registered in the tunnel, with authorities remaining on high alert for any other similar incidents.