Contributed by: Don Winner#Panama - The Education Ministry suspended classes Wednesday in the province of Colon, affected by floods and landslides, after more than 12 hours of steady rain, and it's still raining. So far there have been no fatalities, but the SINAPROC estimated that between 500 to 600 families have bee affected so far by flooding, according to preliminary information provided by Jaime Ospina, of the National Civil Protection System. The most affected area is Cativá, where several neighborhoods such as San Pedro 1 and 2, Guayabal and El Limite were flooded by the overflowing Santa Ana river. Some people fled to the town council for shelter. While the highway from Panama to Colón can be used without problems, the old road, Boyd Roosevelt, from Rio Gatun to Quebrada Ancha, has become dangerous due to mudslides that have occurred at various points such as in Nuevo México and Quebrada Ancha. The latter sector is virtually cut off by the landslides. The Ministry of Public Works has dispatched teams and equipment who will work to reopen the road.
For her part, Minister of Education, Lucy Molinar confirmed in a telephone interview with TVN that today she ordered the suspension of classes in the province. Molinar said that since there will be no classes anyway on Thursday, 10 November, due to the independence day celebrations (from Spain in 1821), that will give them an additional day to assess the situation in Colon. (TVN)