As a result of the last ‘La Niña’ phenomenon 2010-2011, Colombia experienced one of its harshest rainy seasons -record-breaking precipitation rates- over the last few decades-, which adversely affected 96% of the municipalities in the country.
Regional authorities in Valle del Cauca were compelled to declare a state of emergency, and to provide humanitarian aid, availing itself of available local and National Government’s resources.
Cali faced a significantly high flood risk due to Cauca River swelling, which waters came close to overflowing the levee and flooding the eastern area of this capital city, which would have caused a cease of operations of the waterworks intake, the sewage/wastewater treatment plant, and storm water pumping stations.
The potential rupture of the Cali levee could adversely affect as much as 900.000 inhabitants through loss of life and/or property. Likewise, the Drinking Water Treatment Plant -PTAP for its acronym in Spanish- at Puerto Mallarino and the Sewage/Wastewater Treatment Plant -PTAR for its acronym in Spanish- at Cañaveralejo would cease to operate. Approximately 75% of the city would be left without drinking water supply, and 70% of household sewage would remain untreated, placing the population at risk of epidemics.
Economic losses were estimated at COP$7.2 billion, equivalent to 1,2% of Colombia’s GNP in 2011. Over 10.000 business establishments, which represent a significant source of income for close to 30.000 households in eastern Cali, would be adversely affected.