The Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies of Colombia (Ideam) issued a report, on September 18, in which released some observations and recommendations for citizens and institutions regarding how to prepare and react properly to the rainy season facing the country.
In the document, addressed to the National Disaster Risk Management System (Sngrd) and the National Environmental System (SINA), Ideam reported that heavy rainfall would occur in departments such as Chocó, Bolivar, Norte de Santander and Antioquia during the month of November, just as it happened.
(You may also be interested: The rainy season in the country does not give up: it has left 26 dead).
So, We tell you what recommendations Ideam offers to citizens to protect themselves from the possible consequences of the La Niña phenomenon (which causes the cooling of the sea surface in the central and eastern zone of the Equatorial Pacific), which is hitting different areas of the country.
In Bogotá, for example, EL TIEMPO reported that On November 19 there were rains that caused clogged sewers, entire neighborhoods collapsed and the fall of poles and trees.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) confirmed that this phenomenon is the reason for the increase in rainfall in the country and is expected to last until next year.
(You can read: Ideam warns that rains will increase in much of the country).
In principle, the institution recommends always being informed about the climate of the area where you live. You can use mobile apps like ‘I Report’ and ‘My Forecast’.
You must be clear about the telephone numbers of local response agencies (emergency lines) and you should always attend to their instructions.
As a citizen, you must demand from the authorities that the local aqueducts are in good condition, in addition to trying to keep them that way. For example: it is imperative that you do not dump garbage or debris in streams, rivers and streets of urban centers. They can plug outlets or water channels and this could lead to a catastrophic chain of floods.
Remember, also have on hand a briefcase with a copy of the identity documents of each of the members of the family nucleus, spare clothing, canned food, water, whistle, a radio with batteries and a flashlight.
(Read also: The possibility of a tropical wave that would affect La Guajira decreases).
You must know and review emergency plans, evacuation routes and local meeting points (this information can be consulted in the applications mentioned above).
Also, if you need to go out, Protect yourself from the rain with an umbrella or raincoat and, to avoid colds, do not forget to wear warm clothes.
Of course: you can ‘avoid a scare’ by recognizing various symptoms that clarify whether, due to weather conditions, you have the flu or coronavirus.
Here you can learn more about how to distinguish between covid-19 and a simple cold.
Before sudden rising
The institution clarifies that these claims are more likely to occur in steep rivers located in the Andean region.
If you live near a river, it is important to always be aware of the hydrological alerts issued in the different bulletins that Ideam publishes daily. It is advisable not to approach the edges of the rivers and not to cross them when there are heavy rains.
(Also: This is how winter is going this Wednesday in Bogotá and Cundinamarca).
Information on the levels of the different rivers in the country can be verified here.
Faced with landslides
In the Andean departments, the threat of landslides due to orography (land relief) is also high. That is why it is important to be attentive to the state of the roads in order to identify the areas in danger of collapse.
In these places it is preferable to refrain from making tours at night.
In this sense, the community is suggested to monitor permanently on very rainy days and seek refuge in safe areas.
(You may also be interested: These are the weather predictions for today, November 17).
If a landslide occurs on a road, it is necessary to inform the authorities and drivers to put them on alert. It is also important to avoid traffic on steep slopes.
Line # 767, the Twitter account @ numeral767 and the official website of the Instituto Nacional de Vías (Invias) are reliable sources of information regarding the state of the roads.
Faced with electrical storms, strong winds or gales
In case of being close to one of these natural phenomena, it is essential to seek a safe refuge and do not expose yourself in open areas, under trees or metal structures that could be conductors of electricity (they would attract lightning in the case of storms).
(You can also read: Emergencies in rural areas of Bogotá due to rains).
You must also ensure and check the condition of roofs and elevated structures that may collapse at any given time due to strong winds. Do not forget to carry out cleaning work on roofs, gutters and sinks.
Ideam also estimated that, in the next three days, rains will increase in sectors of the Caribbean and Andean regions. These precipitations could occur along with thunderstorms and winds above normal.