Crisis in Mocoa
The recent landslides in southern Colombia were the result of extremely heavy rainfall. The deluge raised the water levels of rivers in Mocoa, Sanguyaco and Mulato and the Taruca ravine. The torrents of mud, water and debris swept away entire neighbourhoods, forcing residents to flee their homes.
President Juan Manuel Santos has declared a state of emergency in the area. The total number of victims has yet to be established - rescuers are still searching for bodies and survivors. Hundreds of people are affected by the crisis and half the region is without electricity. Water and food is scarce. A temporary closure of all local schools has been announced.
Our colleagues in Colombia have not been directly affected but many of them live or have friends and family in the region. Our thoughts go out to all victims of the disaster. Since War Child is working in the Putumayo region of which Mocoa is part, we are coordinating with the national humanitarian response group the best way to help. Our support will be focused on psychosocial support, protection and education. We have sent 800 hundred school kits for the children and teens that are not currently studying.
More on our work in Colombia