Radio amateurs in Colombia have been put on an Orange Alert and an HF net activated on 7.117 kHz in the wake of an avalanche of mud and rocks November 7 on the La Paila River on the town of Corinto. The incident at dusk has caused between 26 and 30 injuries in the resulting flood of water and debris in the small town some 60 kilometers southeast of Cali.
“The Emergency Network of radio amateurs in Cali and Popayan are working together at this time to keep the risk management authorities informed about injured and missing people and temporary shelters,” said Juan Manuel Yanguas, HK5AKN, Director and Coordinator of the Emergency Service at Liga de Radioaficionados de Cali. “We continue monitoring and will inform about more risks.” Yanguas said the Corinto hospital has been evacuated, and a hospital facility has been set up in a camp in the city’s principal park, and the population is being evacuated to higher ground. Relief agencies have evacuated the community to the village of San Rafael.
The spreading footprint of the avalanche has destroyed two homes. Four people are reported missing so far, and six communities have been affected (the Colombian, the Beach, Esmeralda, Carrizales village, Pedregal, and El Tablón village). Some 60 families — about 300 people in all — have been affected. A half-dozen injured have been taken to the coliseum, which has been activated as a shelter, and a crisis room has been installed at the Corinto Fire Department command center. The hospital is not considered to be at high risk. — Thanks to IARU Region 2 Emergency Coordinator Cesar Santos, HR2P; media reports