Colombia floods causing widespread damage
Today we visited the community of Caracol in the municipality of Toluviejo in the department of Sucre, which is one of the four communities we work in with our partner Fundacion Red Desarrollo y Paz de los Montes de Maria.
The community was affected by the social control of illegal armed groups towards the end of the 1990s and around 2000, but resisted displacement.
As a result of the presence of armed groups in their community, their health post and police station were abandoned and remain unmanned to this day.
Caracol has an Older Citizen's Monitoring Group, formed in early 2010, which has started advocating with local authorities, particularly to start providing health services to their community again and to have an Older People's Centre where they can meet on a regular basis.
It rained hard for 14 hours
On the evening of Monday 13 December, it began to rain and continued raining hard for 14 hours.
The River Pechilin, which borders the lower parts of the village, broke its banks in a flash flood in the middle of the night and rose some ten metres until it reached the roofs of the nearest houses and covered the two streets nearest the river.
The electricity went out and the older people scrambled to rescue what belongings they could.
By 10 o'clock the next morning the waters had receded but had caused widespread damage to houses and crops and washed away numerous belongings and animals, such as pigs and chickens.
The Older Citizen's Monitoring Group are currently carrying out a rapid needs assessment using their census as a basis and have identified food, blankets and torches as their immediate needs.