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Tragedy in Colombia (193+ fatalities after 3 rivers overflowed)


Lanny
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I woke up at 315 A.M., E.S.T. and for some reason, on my phone, selected the Fox News App.  The top story was about this tragedy, hours South of us (the city of Cali is in S.W. Colombia). At this time they are reporting at least 193 fatalities. Please include the victims and their families in your prayers. That area is about as far from help as it is possible to be in this country and I hope the weather today will be dry and will permit aid getting to them. Our ISP went down Friday night, about 745, just before we left to go to the Zumba class, and I remember walking back to the house after the class, commenting to my wife and DD what a beautiful night it was here. It took our ISP almost 22 hours to get the issue resolved, so we were without Internet and TV until late yesterday afternoon and I did not see anything on FoxNews.com about this until now.     There are 2 weather phenomenons in the Pacific Ocean that cause our seasons of frequent rains and the opposite is seasons that are very dry. This NOAA article explains them:  http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/ninonina.html

 

This is the URL for a news story about the tragedy:

 http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/04/01/colombia-193-dead-after-rivers-overflow-toppling-homes.html

 

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This is heartbreaking! All my love to the families of the victims.

 

Lanny, when you have a chance to find out, let us know if there are any specific relief agencies we can donate to for this.

 

Thank you. If I find that information, I will let you know. Very kind of you to ask.  I will ask my wife if she can check it out in Spanish . Off the top of my head, I'm guessing the "Cruz Roja Colombiana" which is the Colombian Red Cross. I believe Blood is one of the most immediate needs there at this time.  How many times I've seen their trucks for people to donate Blood,  parked by an entrance in the Mall, or in front of the Supermarket where I do most of the shopping.   I am hoping for good weather there today that will permit Helicopters to fly in and out and around the area.   We are in S.W. Colombia,  approximately 150 Air Miles from there and approximately 250 miles by Road.  

Edited by Lanny
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Follow on: I googled Mocoa Colombia and read this article from BBC, which is in Spanish. When they wrote that, they were thinking 250 fatalities and 400 injured, but usually in disasters, those numbers climb, with time.  There were huge amounts of water and gigantic rocks that hit the city. The rescue effort is something like after an Earthquake. There was one thing in that article that caught my eye, because I had taken the 2 week MOOC Course from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, about Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems, in February. During the night, they used Drones with Thermal Imaging, trying to locate survivors.  

 

If you can read Spanish, it will help. I do not see a link to get to an English language article on BBC, but I assume that they have one. If not, there are 11 photos which give one a pretty good idea of the aftermath.

http://www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias-america-latina-39469095

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This is heartbreaking! All my love to the families of the victims.

 

Lanny, when you have a chance to find out, let us know if there are any specific relief agencies we can donate to for this.

 

My wife told me that the Colombian government has opened a apecial account in one of the Colombian banks, but that you should be very careful. At this time we do not know how people in other countries can donate $ and have the $ they donate actually get here and help the people who desperately need the help.

 

She told me they are looking for everything to help the survivors. Clothes, Shoes, Pet Food, everything that one might need. Food, water, etc...

 

She told me that 2 Police Officers went in a big truck and rescued some people from very high water, but then the huge rocks came and the Driver was in the truck and he was killed.

 

It sounds like that area is Jungle and that they moved a lot by the Rivers, before the highway connected the city.

 

She told me a Red Cross truck couldn't get in, so I assume the road was or still is closed.  

 

I saw where a large Colombian Air Force cargo plane landed somewhere near there and if I assume, I assume they are ferrying things in there via Helicopters.

 

The USA has "assets" here but I think they are in the N.E. part of the country, near the international border with Venezuela.  If they can help, in any way, I am certain they will help.

Edited by Lanny
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That's awful! Is it rainy season in Putumayo yet or is this a very bad omen for this year? The rains don't come until May on the Carribbean coast but I don't know if the Pacific is the same.

 

We are having a "Winter" (rainy season) where we live. To our West, approximately 10 air miles, is the base of the range of mountains between us and the Pacific Ocean. There are Pacific Ocean phenomenons near our Pacific Coast that occasionally cause very Dry seasons and very Wet seasons. I think this very Wet season is caused by "La Niña" but it may be "El Niñp".  I forget which is the rainy season...

 

One article I read this morning said that there are many areas in Colombia where events like this are possible, but that this tragedy is the worst of that type in several decades.  

 

Sounds like that city is surrounded by water from the 3 different rivers, but that may or may not be  true.  If the road access was blocked, the only way they can get any aid to them is by air, which is much more difficult. 

 

ETA: Or send aid by boat?

Edited by Lanny
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I know they are are still looking for people. What a terrible, terrible tragedy. Colombia is in my prayers today.

 

Thank you for your prayers! The people there have requested prayers. Much appreciated!  Based on searches after earthquakes, I believe there is approximately 72 hours after a disaster when there is a chance of finding survivors. 

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One of the things I read this afternoon said that Engineers from the Colombian Army are trying to open the road so that emergency traffic can go in and out of there. Part of that requires that they replace three (3) bridges.  They are hoping to have that road open today. As soon as the road is open, they can get much more help in there. The people have no water, no electricity, and many of them have no houses.  One thing I read quoted someone as saying the rocks were as big as houses. I don't doubt that. I have seen many photos of rocks the size of refrigerators. 

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Oh how horrible, worse than I had even heard.

Glad you and yours are OK, Lanny.

La Nina has hit us hard here in California this year, too, but not like that.

 

Praying for those who are trapped and for their rescuers.

 

Thank you for your prayers and for including the rescuers. My wife told me that 1 of 2 police officers who was trying to rescue some people in very high water was killed. He was driving a big truck. That was fine in high water, but when the huge stones came his way, he was killed.  

 

Thanks again for your prayers. The people there are asking for prayers.

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When she was finishing preparing our Dinner, my wife told me that my SIL has a friend/colleague who lives in Mocoa. She's an Engineer. Her family is fine. Their house is fine. They have no Water or Electricity or Internet, but that's temporary. My wife knows her.  Hopefully, the Colombian Army Engineers were able to put in the 3 temporary bridges and open the road in/out of there for emergency vehicles today.  If not, ASAP.  I had no idea that my wife and SIL knew someone there...  I assume that she was able to send an SMS message or even possibly, a voice call, but possibly their landline phone is working? Hoping they can bring in food and water and temporary shelter for the people whose homes were destroyed, ASAP.. 

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I have been praying about this tragedy since I saw it last night.Will continue to pray including the responders.

 

Thank you for the prayers and for including the responders!  My wife told me that at least one responder, a Police Officer, was killed while trying to rescue people. He was in a truck in high water and that was OK, but then the huge stones came their way and he was killed.  

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Follow on:   Today is Tuesday, 04 April. In our part of this huge rural subdivision, there are approximately 80 homes now. Some of them are occupied by doctors. Our HOA has 3 WhatsApp Chat Channels.  Someone sent, at 221 (it is 257 now), a message that they need 7 doctors, 5 Nursing supervisors (?), 3 nursing Assistants and 10 Psychologists, to leave, in a plane from Cali, this afternoon. They will be taking 30 tons of stuff down there.  They will pay their expenses and they will be working for/with the Colombian Army and Colombian Navy there, for 5 days.  Cali is the 3rd largest city in Colombia and we are the closest  major city to Mocoa. It says the flight will be 40 minutes.   They need LOTS of help and it is a very difficult place to get help to.  I hope the Engineers of the Colombian Army were able to reopen the road in/out of there, for emergency traffic. If not, they are working on it and it will reopen ASAP.  If you can include the victims and their families and the rescuers in your prayers that will help and they are requesting prayers. 

Edited by Lanny
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