The inhabitants of the archipelago of San Andrés and Providencia have been living difficult days since Monday, November 2, due to the blows of Hurricane Eta, which in its wake caused several effects that forced the Departmental Council for Risk Management (CDGDR) to declare the public calamity in the Department.
In addition, all the institutions are at the maximum level of readiness for any weather event that may occur on the islands.
In effect, when what was budgeted by most of the forecasts was that the depression and tropical storm would become a category 1 hurricane (on the Saffir-Simpson scale) when crossing waters of the North of the Colombian archipelago – at the height of ‘Cabo Thank God ‘, on the border of Nicaragua and Honduras – the phenomenon took an unexpected turn towards the west-southwest, increasing the strength of its winds and reaching category 5.
Once the danger posed by the gusts had passed, three inter-institutional crews swept across the island to verify the effects that had occurred as a result of the weather phenomenon.
During the tour, fallen trees, debris and large rocks could be seen on the ring road that were swept away by the strong waves, and dozens of businesses and homes located in the coastal area that were destroyed by the force of the sea.
The sector that was most affected was the Hoyo Soplador, where in addition to restaurants and businesses, 21 people who lived in the area were evacuated.
Their houses were swept away by the fury of the sea, so they were relocated to the houses of close relatives and given toilet kits and mats.
The Colonel of the National Police, Jorge Pinzón Villarroel, reported that a total of 47 calls were received to line 123 due to damage to homes (roofless), fallen trees, roads blocked by waste and damage to public services (electricity).
Pinzón also confirmed that firefighters received more than 150 calls for falling trees.
In this regard, the captain of the San Andrés Fire Department, Willie Gordon Bryan, said that on the west coast of the island most of the public service establishments such as kiosks, dive shops and restaurants – in addition to numerous houses – were seriously affected.
“From Monday night until Tuesday morning we had sustained winds of up to 75 kilometers per hour, something that did not happen many years ago in San Andrés y Providencia,” said Gordon Bryan, clarifying that “thank God there are no victims for now. human to regret. ”
According to the Governor (e) Alen Jay Stephens, during the visits made to the sectors, the impact that this natural phenomenon has had on the territory is clearly noticeable, mainly on homes. Similarly, he assured that his administration will provide constant support to those affected.
In addition, the island has a curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. and the beaches will remain closed until further notice.
On the other hand, on the morning of this Tuesday, with the presence of the Mayor of Providencia and Santa Catalina, Jorge Gari Hooker, some gangs of the municipality began very early the work of recovering the structure of Lover’s Lane (Bridge of Lovers) that connects Providencia with Santa Catalina, which presented damage after the strong winds registered this weekend by the passage of the ETA.