19 February 2018
Puerto Venus: massive debris flows in Colombia yesterday
The municipality of Narino in Antioquia in Colombia was affected by large debris flows, triggered by heavy rainfall, late last week. Worst affected appears to be the village of Puerto Venus, which was struck by a large debris flow, destroying 12 houses. The debris flow was captured in two remarkable videos that have been posted to Youtube. This one shows the debris flow from one side of the river:-
El Colombiano has a detailed article (In Spanish, though Google Translate does a reasonable job) about the landslide, together with some images of the events. It reports that the inhabitants of Puerto Venus were warned that the landslide was coming by the inhabitants of a village upstream at El Piñal. The suggestion is that the river had been blocked by a landslide near to El Piñal, and that the debris flow was then triggered by heavy rainfall. I am unsure as to whether this implies that the earlier landslide was a valley-blocking event, and that the debris flow was the result of a breach.
This image, from El Colombiano, shows the aftermath of the debris flows:-
Back in November, Caracol.com reported that a landslide had developed in the vicinity of Puerto Venus. The Google Translate version (lightly edited) suggests that:
The inhabitants of the village of Puerto Venus in the municipality of Nariño, east of Antioquia, are concerned because for several days they have seen how a mountain that surrounds them threatens to collapse due to the recent rains….”We are on a hillside, stuck in the mountains and we are at high risk because for example this week a very large bomb went down the river and people who live nearby no longer dawn there. In addition, the mountain has already covered a road that is nearby and the entire village is in danger; It is a very big mountain and the river grows with the surrounding streams. We are encapsulated between the mountains, “added [Nohemí Mejía, an inhabitant of the area].