2011 Colombia floods

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2011 Colombia floods
Date April, September–November 2011[1] (ongoing)
Location Colombia

At least 400 (April)[2][3]

81 (September–November)[4]
Property damage US$5 billion (est.)

An ongoing series of floods in Colombia began in late April 2011, coinciding with the country's rainy season. Torrential rains triggered extensive flooding and landslides that have killed at least 111 people and left more than 69,000 homeless. Initial estimates have placed damage at US$5 billion.[2] Since September, a further wave of flooding and landslides (coinciding with the year's second rainy season) has killed another 81 people,[4] wounded 65 more and affected approximately 289,000 (including 61,000 families).[1]


Based on media reports, more than a year's worth of rain fell in under a month, causing the Magdalena and Cauca Rivers to overflow their banks. Roughly 29,000 people have been evacuated from flood-prone areas along the rivers.[5]


There have been many landslides as a result of the surplus rain. On 6 November, a landslide occurred in Manizales, department of Caldas, killing 45 people[6] and leaving another 158 homeless.[4] The Colombian Red Cross initially arrived at the scene with about 50 rescuers,[7] while (as of 8 November) approximately 600 volunteer rescuers have been searching for 13 to 15 people that are said to be trapped underneath the rubble.[6]


On 23 April, a state of emergency was declared for the entire country.[8] Central government relief aid from the capital Bogotá amounted to US$178 million by April 25.[2] President Juan Manuel Santos stated that the Magdalena River reached its highest level in recorded history due to the excessive rains. Scientists estimated that roughly 9% of the country could be underwater by the end of the 2011 rainy season.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Invierno cobra la vida de 64 personas; 22 el fin de semana". El Espectador (in Spanish). Comunican S.A. November 6, 2011. Retrieved November 8, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c Unattributed (April 25, 2011). "93 dead in Colombia floods". United Press International. Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Colombian landslide kills 14, traps dozens". CNN. Retrieved November 6, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c "Buscan a 15 personas desaparecidas tras alud en Manizales". El Espectador (in Spanish). November 8, 2011. Retrieved November 8, 2011. 
  5. ^ Indo-Asian News Service (April 24, 2011). "29,000 evacuated due to floods". Hindustan Times. Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "Aumentó número de muertos en Manizales, tras avalancha". El Espectador (in Spanish). November 8, 2011. Retrieved November 8, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Colombian landslide kills 14, traps dozens". CNN. Retrieved November 6, 2011. 
  8. ^ Unattributed (April 23, 2011). "Colombia floods prompt emergency declaration". BBC News. Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  9. ^ Unattributed (April 22, 2011). "Colombian president to help flood victims". United Press International. Retrieved April 25, 2011.