“Heavy rains in Colombia have affected close to 2 million persons”, the country's president Juan Manuel Santos said on Sunday after inspecting floods in the northern “Atlantico department”.
Following his overflight of some of the affected areas, the president confirmed the arrival of international aid, stressing that the country needed more assistance.
The floods were made worse by the effects of the weather phenomenon “La Niña”, with rains in the second part of the month of November exceeding previous historical records. The International Federation of the Red Cross indicated that landslides and floods occurred in 28 of the 32 departments on the Colombian territory.
In the early stage of the crisis, immediately after the Colombian President declared state of national calamity, UNOSAT commenced work in order to assist the work of the international humanitarian community through the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Given the gravity of the situation and the need to acquire rapidly appropriate satellite imagery and data, the International Space Charter lent its support as well providing free of charge satellite data and requesting UNOSAT to act as Project Manager for this activation. An overview of flooded areas in the Colombian territory can be viewed in the UNOSAT webpage