World Vision International
article • Monday, April 3rd 2017

World Vision responds to emergency in Mocoa, Colombia

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Mocoa landslide damages. Photo: Courtesy of Office of People's Defense and National Fire Department of Colombia

World Vision is coordinating the deployment of personnel to aid the population affected by the landslide caused early this Saturday, April 1st, by the overflow of the Mocoa, Sagoyaco y Mulata rivers, in the Departament of Putumayo, located in the Southwest of Colombia.

According to the most recent reports, of the National Unit for the Disaster  Risk Assessment, 193 people have died, other 200 are injured (71 of them are children), and approximately 500 families have been affected. The number of missing persons is still unknown.

The National System of Risk Assessment informs that it is active with its teams of search of victims and rescue, assessment of damages and analysis of needs. It also is managing a centralized system to account the affected people, and rehabilitate public services, especially water supply.

Due to the magnitude of the emergency, the Municipality of Mocoa, which is the capital of the department of Putumayo declared public calamity. A crisis center has been established in the local Police Department Command.

Provisional registers point out that the facilities of five schools have been affected, which will affect a population of 2.000 children. In order to guarantee the protection of minors, World Vision as humanitarian organization is activating its response team and will be mobilizing its personnel to provide aid and complement the evaluation of humanitarian needs within the affected zone.

So far the most urgent needs are hygiene kits and shelter for the affected, as well as psico-social assistance.

The local coordination team in Putumayo is monitoring the emergency along with the authorities of the municipality, in order to evaluate the capacities in place, the needs, and the efforts to respond in a coordinated manner.

As a part of the Colombia´s National Humanitrian System, World Vision will be participating in assessment sessions to define the role of each agency and organization participating in the rescue and assistance processes. Preliminarily, WV would be focusing its efforts to provide child-friendly spaces and effective protection to children affected by this disaster, a task that will be developed in coordination with national authorities and other agencies that will provide aid for Mocoa’s inhabitants.

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