Wednesday, October 19 2011 @ 04:03 pm EDT
Contributed by: Don Winner
Flooded: One was the community of Sambu, where the situation was quite serious. The water was several feet deep in the homes, many of which managed to avoid the worst of the flooding because they were built in building on stilts, some two levels tall. Not all met the same fate. Both there and in the neighboring community of Puerto Indio there were those who lost their belongings, such as mattresses, clothes and stoves, as what happened to the Rivera family, consisting of three children and two adults. At about midnight on Friday the rising waters surprised them as well as their neighbors. They tried to salvage some belongings, but in the end their instinct to save life was what mattered and the water ended up taking many of their things. The Sambu river did not spare anything; schools, churches, government offices, the headquarters of the local municipality, and sports fields were flooded, and even the airfield of the place was literally swallowed by the waters.
Affected: Eduardo Figueroa of the National Civil Protection System (Sinaproc), in the province of Darien, said in Puerto Indio some 220 people were affected, while in Sambu another 300 more met the same fate, mostly losing some furniture, livestock and plantations, but thank God there were no injuries or destruction of homes. In the community of Puerto Indio, the people no longer feel comfortable inhabiting the place. That is why the regional Emberá Wounaan chief, Tino Quintana, asked the Government to expedite the relocation of the population to another safer place because there have been more and more recurrent floods, its getting worse, and he fears in one of these there may be loss of life.
The landscape of both Sambu and Puerto Indio were dramatic, people walking in water up to their waist, some in boats, and others watching the arrival of aid from their balconies, as it was distributed by SENAFRONT and Sinaproc units. Meanwhile personnel from the Ministry of Health made trips to prevent, as is common after floods, outbreaks of stomach illnesses such as diarrhea cause by drinking contaminated water. As of last night, the weather had improved and they reported a decrease in the water levels, but also other communities further upriver were also affected, such as Barandó and Villa Teresa. At the edge of the Inter American Highway in Zapallal, the water swallowed the road for a few hours; vehicular traffic was later restored. Serious flooding was also reported in Santa Fe, where the town was cut off by flood waters. Emergency response personnel were there until the wee hours of the night. (Mi Diario)