On the first of April, a torrent of mud, debris and water tore through the town of Mocoa in Colombia destroying homes and sweeping people away as they slept. Over 250 people have been reported dead.
The landslide was strong enough to completely destroy houses, uproot fully grown trees and wash away vehicles. More than 1/3 of the monthly average rainfall fell on Friday alone. As a result of this landslide, power has been cut off and sanitary conditions are a serious concern as drinking water has been contaminated. Access will also be an issue as 80% of the roads are in poor condition currently. More rainfall is also expected.
ShelterBox already has aid stored in Colombia, and a team is on route now. ShelterBox has responded in Colombia before, and we have been in touch with local Government, Rotary and charity contacts to see how we can assist. We are ready to provide shelter, water purification, solar lights, mosquito nets, cooking equipment and whatever else is needed to ensure families can survive and recover from this devastating disaster.
Two ShelterBox Response Teams are currently in Peru assessing the need for shelter following extreme flooding. One team is working in the north-west of the country with Rotary International and the government, while the other team is in Lima investigating our logistical and importation options.
Through the next critical days, the teams will gain a clearer understanding of the needs of those displaced, the governmental shelter strategy, gaps in shelter provision and the coping capacities of the affected population.