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Wednesday, June 26 2019 @ 03:48 PM UTC

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Working To Remove Mudslides - Communities Cut Off

WeatherThe Ministry of Public Works in Colón in conjunction with other private companies began work to remove a mudslide that's blocking Transistmica near Quebrada Ancha. Blas Rodriguez, the Regional Director of the Land Transit and Transportation Authority (ATTT) in Colón, said heavy rains coincided with high tides, causing flooding in communities such as Cativá and those near the area of Cristóbal. As for the mudslides that occurred last night blocking Transístmica, he said the National Civil Protection System (Sinaproc), together with the company Transcaribbean which has the concession with Obredech to maintain the road, together with the MOP, are working in the area. He said the road should be reopened for vehicular traffic by about 10:00 am this morning. He said another mudslide occurred in the area of Rio Gatun in the early morning hours, and the road could be reopened by about noon. The heavy rains have left several communities cut off, such as Buena Vista, Quebrada Ancha, Sardinilla, Río Gatún, Cativá, La Ciudad del Sol, Margarita calle 16, among others. (Panama America)
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Flooding In Colon After 48 Hours of Constant Rains - Free Trade Zone Virtually Shut Down

WeatherColón - Approximately 200 families have lost all of their belongings and clothes after being affected by flooding caused by more than 48 hours of steady rain in the Atlantic sector. Staff from the Ministry of Public Works, the Land Transit and Transportation Authority, and three private companies are working to reopen the Transistmica highway, which has been blocked at two points by mudslides. The National Civil Protection System (SINAPROC) has declared a Red Alert for the area of Colón, because of the havoc caused by the incessant rains. The areas most affected in the province of Colón are the districts of Sabanitas and Cativá, with the largest number of flood victims, according to SINAPROC. In the city of Colón the regional offices of the National Customs Authority and the Colon Free Trade Zone have been flooded. Business activities in the Colon Free Trade Zone and the area of France Field have been virtually paralyzed due to the floods that have prevented people from reaching their workplaces. The Regional Director of the National Customs Authority said that due to the amount of water around the facility cargo trucks cannot reach the customs area to be processed. (Prensa)

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Heavy Rains Flood School in Colon

WeatherStudents, faculty, and administrative staff of the Technical and Vocational Training Institute (IPT) of Colon were evacuated due to flooding following heavy rains falling on the province. Behind this technical school, located in the village of Cativá, the level of a stream known as the "Fantasma" is rising. The flooding has affected different areas of the school, including the administrative offices and some classrooms. In other parts of the province and in the coastal areas landslides and flooding have been reported. (Critica)



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Mudslides Cut Off "Lower Coast" of Province of Colon

Weather#Panama - Colón - One person has been injured, one house has been destroyed, and eleven villages have been cut off in the province of Colón due to mudslides that have occurred on the road from Achiote to Piña, on the "Costa Abajo" (lower coast). The damage occurred in the early hours of this morning, 4 November 2011, when heavy rains fell in the sectors concerned. Officials from the National Civil Protection System (SINAPROC) moved to the area. Staff from the Ministry of Public Works are coordinating the movement of a backhoe to remove the dirt, to allow for the passage of vehicular traffic to the communities in the districts of Chagres and Donoso.

EVENTS: Meanwhile, in the city of Colon the official acts to commemorate 4 November have also been affected by the bad weather. Ludolf Herrera, regional director of the Ministry of Education (Meduca), expressed concern flooding might force the cancellation of parades in the area. (Prensa)

Editor's Comment: There is exactly one road that connects the "lower coast" of the province to Colon with the rest of the country - this road from Achiote to Piña. I've driven this road many times, and if it's blocked by a mudslide then tens of thousands of people are cut off, everyone in Miguel de la Borda, Gobea, Rio Indio, etc.

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Flooding and Mudslides in El Valle, Anton

Weather #Panama - El Valle, Cocle - More than 200 people were affected by flooding and mudslides caused by heavy rains during the last weekend in the province of Cocle and the district of San Carlos. Meanwhile, in the area of Toza, district of Nata, a search began for a missing person. Near the ​​Rio de Jesus, district of Los Llanitos, district of San Carlos, several landslides blocked the road to the area, precluding the passage of vehicles and the transfer of products to the market in El Valle de Anton. Volunteers from the National Civil Protection System (Sinaproc) of El Valle and community members are trying to clear the road with machetes and shovels, but they requested support from the Ministry of Public Works due to the great amount of mud and trees, impossible to move without heavy machinery. Meanwhile in the sector of Caña Blanca in the district of El Valle, about 160 people were affected by floods caused by the overflowing of the river Anton. Sinaproc officials, local authorities and community residents remain on alert as the weather continues and rains are forecast for the afternoon. (Prensa)
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Fewer People Remain in Shelters in Chiriqui - Rains Diminishing, Flood Waters Receding

Weather#Panama - The number of evacuees due to the heavy rains that flooded several villages in the districts of Baru and Alanje in the province of Chiriqui, have decreased. There are 66 people staying in shelters set up in the gymnasium of Progreso, 71 in Puerto Armuelles and 75 in Nuevo Mexico, said the Director General of Civil Defense, Arturo Alvarado. The SINAPROC reported that in areas like Nuevo Mexico, independent farms and houses in Majagual still have water in their interiors, which is why the owners of the homes are still in the shelters where they receive aid. Time has given some truce in the province of Chiriqui, weather conditions have improved and the rains have diminished in recent hours, SINAPROC added. (Estrella)

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"Mudslide Reservoir" Breaks Naturally - Pent Up Water Released Downstream

Weather#Panama - The "natural reservoir" formed as the result of a mudslide that blocked the Palo Blanco river broke naturally and allowed the release of the accumulated water and natural debris that were in the river. "We are very content with all of the effort made by the people in Chiriqui, the security sectors, and all who have worked during these days under the coordination of the National Civil Protection System," said the Director of the SINAPROC, Arturo Alvarado. More than one thousand people were evacuated as part of a mandatory evacuation order from the communities of Blanco Arriba, San Antonio, Balaspit, Majagua Civil, Finca Majagua, Finca Higuito and Sangrillo, because of their locations next to the Palo Blanco river, downstream of the reservoir formed by the mudslide on the Palo Blanco river in the district of Barú. Of the total number of evacuees, 572 where temporarily housed in two shelters that were established, while the rest of those affected were placed with relatives and friends. Alvarado also said the preventative evacuations allowed them to avoid the loss of human life. (Panama America)

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Flood Waters Receding In The Darien - Mudslide Dam Will Be Blown in Chiriqui

Weather #Panama - The bad weather began to subside and give respite to the beleaguered people of the Darien yesterday, which allowed the National Civil Protection System (Sinaproc) to lower the yellow alert status. In the villages of Sambu and Puerto Indio, which were several feet under water, the declining levels of the Sambú river freed up most of the runway, and allowed residents to collect the debris from several houses and institutions, such as IPT Unadrucia school. In the community of Santa Fe, near the Panamerican highway, vehicles still cannot pass over a bridge because the river waters are still almost flowing over it. But with the water levels dropping, in most of the communities the needs of the people are taking over. The hundreds of people living in the affected communities of Barriales, Fortuna, La Represa, as well as Sambú, Puerto Indio and Santa Fe, among others, cry out for help and they request the presence of the authorities and, if necessary, president Ricardo Martinelli.

In CHIRIQUÍ: Meanwhile, in Chiriquí, under strict control and with risks already analyzed, this Saturday they will start the work of removing the earthen dam caused by a mudslide seven days ago, in the mountainous area of ​​Los Planes, in the district of Baru, following the collapse the slopes and hills surrounding the Palo Blanco river. Arturo Alvarado, the Director of Sinaproc said after a precautionary evacuation, they decided to make it mandatory, because some people refused to leave their homes. By today all people downstream will be completely evicted. Experts in explosives, hydraulics, and engineers from the Panama Canal Authority conducted an overflight yesterday and determined they would make a dry run in the next few hours, to determine the best strategy to release the large amounts of accumulated water. They did not rule out the use of explosives. (Mi Diario)

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More Than 900 Evacuated in Chiriqui Along Palo Blanco River

Weather#Panama - Authorities of the National Civil Protection System decided to order the mandatory evacuation of residents reluctant to leave their homes adjacent to the Palo Blanco river, in the community of Los Plancitos, in Barú, province of Chiriquí, where a dam was formed by a landslide caused by constant rains. The authorities are now trying to determine the best way to release the water or channel it in a controlled manner. Arturo Alvarado said after inspecting the affected area in Baru that about 900 people were evacuated from these communities to avoid any risk. "On Wednesday there was a temporary evacuation order, but yesterday we decided to make it mandatory," said Alvarado.

He said the affected area in Palo Blanco includes 257 flooded hectares, containing some 7.3 million cubic meters of water, with a depth of more than 20 feet. He said early today an expert in hydrology, one in Geo Sciences, from the Institutional Protection Service and SINAPROC all assessed the situation of the reservoir which affected all communities in Los Plancitos in Baru, Chiriquí. He said that those affected are residents of the communities of Blanco Arriba, San Antonio, Balas pit, Finca Majagua and Majagua Civil among others, and they are in shelters set up in the Gym of Pan Sports, in Progreso, and at the high school of Puerto Armuelles. The rest decided to go with family and friends.

He acknowledged the task to evacuate these people was arduous, in which the helicopter HP 1418 was used, with the support of the National Police, because many of the farmers live in areas where vehicles can not enter.

In relation to the Darien province and after six days of heavy rain, he said "safe areas" were designated and a yellow alert is raised in this province, following the decline in rainfall. He said humanitarian aid continues to arrive by the Office of the First Lady and the Program of National Assistance. He added that there is still a "green alert" and they are constantly monitoring this province 24 hours. "The emergency response personnel will be available in areas vulnerable to flooding," said Alvarado. It should be noted that the Ministry of Health, MIVI, MOP, MIDES, and MIDA, are all working together to assess the damage caused in this province. (Panama America)

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Explosives Will Be Used To Clear Mudslide, Release Accumulated Water

Weather #Panama - Arturo Alvarado, the Director General of the National Civil Protection System, confirmed Thursday afternoon that on Saturday they will begin blasting to release the large amount of water contained in the "reservoir" which was created after the collapse of the slopes of two hills next to the Palo Blanco river. Explosives experts, hydraulics experts and engineers of the Panama Canal Authority and the Institutional Protection Service assessed how to release the accumulated water. The community of Higuito was evacuated due to the danger represented by the standing water in the reservoir. The group of people who refused to be evacuated were taken from the area with the support of the National Police. (Prensa)

Editor's Comment: Now that's going to make for some cool video.

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