AleThe recent rains recorded in the metropolitan area of Bucaramanga have set off the alarms of thousands of homes that are feared to be affected by possible floods and landslides.
Although the amount of rain has decreased in recent weeks, local risk management officials are keeping an eye on parts of the city.
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This is the case for the areas around the Rio de Oro, where the tributary was 20 cm above its maximum level, and the Miramanga neighborhood (commune 14), where landslides have been occurring in recent months, threatening people. dozens of residents.
In yesterday’s report, the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies, IDEA, revealed that the Santander capital and its metropolitan area will have a 76% chance of rain during this week. This is despite the increase in temperature that has occurred in recent weeks.
sudden rise in river
Thousands of families living along the Oro River in Bucaramanga saw the first flood of that tributary in 2023, after heavy rains fell early yesterday. Fortunately, the overflow of the flow was not recorded at any critical point.
“It worried us a lot. We are very careful, we are waiting for the development of mitigation works for this area. Last year the river overflowed three times, ”said Jose, located in the southwestern region, next to the mentioned tributary said Erasmo Ramirez Gutierrez, leader of the Antonio Galan neighborhood.
Likewise, Luis Ernesto Ortega Martínez, coordinator of the risk management unit in Bucaramanga, explained that in view of the possible increase in river flow in the event of a new flow, the Oro River remains vigilant because of the risk it represents. Is. At least two thousand families living nearby, especially in three parts of the city.
These are, on the one hand, the territories of José Antonio Galán, El Gallineral, Cinco de Enero and Carlos Pizarro; Furthermore, the Puente Nariño neighborhood in the most central area; and finally, to the north of the city at the points of La Playa, La Playita and El Plan.
In Miramanga, the land yields again
In mid-October 2022, about 60 residents of Miramanga evacuated their homes due to the risk of landslides in the area.
Since then, these movements of the earth have continued, as well as a concern for those who see how the land tilts. Due to this, the residents of the locality are apprehensive about the future of this area and the lives of the families located on the upper side of the mountain.
“Due to the previous rains, the slope was eroded, a tree was blown down and a house was affected. Landslides continue,” said Ana Milena Granados Jaimes, president of the Miramanga Community Action Board, on the consequences of yesterday’s rains in the region. said about.
In this regard, Sahara Rojas Téllez, Head of Administration of the Bucaramanga Mayor’s Office, said that the declaration of a state of emergency of public calamity in November 2022 will allow to act more quickly in Miramanga.
In this sense, according to the official, in February this year will start the contract process for studies and works that will allow to “reduce the risk” of landslides. According to the calculations of the local administration, the investment for this work could reach 1,800 million dollars.
It should be remembered that landslides were already recorded in this area of the city since 2006. These intensified between 2010 and 2011, as explained to the medium at the time by engineer Jaime Suárez Díaz, who said: “where the houses have a playground that was lost due to landslides”.
Five municipal corporations on alert
Yesterday, Idead issued a bulletin listing the areas of the country where landslide alerts remain in effect.
According to that document, there are five municipalities on ‘red alert’ for this type of situation for Santander: Bucaramanga, El Playón, Guaca, Málaga and Rionegro.
Fabian Vargas, head of the Santander Risk Management Office, explained that these risk positions are due to the historical record of emergencies presented in those places.
Similarly, the official informed that the outlook for a major part of the divisional area would be high.
“However, high temperatures persist in most of the department, with the exception of some municipalities in the southern region,” Vargas said.