The director of disgraced energy organization EPM advised Colombian media on Thursday that the country’s most significant hydroelectric dam could burst.
Jorge Londoño conceded that it is “difficult to answer if the Hidroituango (dam) will be saved,” a stark evaluation that if legitimate, could result in an unprecedented total of harm to the surroundings, the nation’s financial system and in the end life.
The corporation and regional authorities known as in the enable of the countrywide authorities on Wednesday just after shedding management in excess of the dam that was only months from being inaugurated.
If authorities and EPM just can’t determine out a way to avert the dam’s partitions bursting and flooding into the Cauca river, “an avalanche of huge proportions” may perhaps just take spot.
According to a single specialist,
“if the dam is irreparably ruined and the Cauca (river) floods, Armero’s tragedy would pale in comparison,” referring to the 1985 volcanic disaster that killed 23,000 Colombians.
Job personnel experienced been advancing to raise dam walls to the “fundamental” elevation of 410 meters, nevertheless because of to the impending risks of the dam rupturing, workers have been evacuated, leaving the wall at an elevation of 403 metres.
Beneath this worst-scenario state of affairs, 12 municipalities downstream in the Antioquia, Cordoba, Sucre and Bolivar provinces could be flooded by the Cauca river. More than 100,000 people today that stay in the threat location could be impacted.
Medellin Mayor Federico Gutierrez said that in this sort of an occasion, floods would attain municipalities such as Nechi in 18 several hours, Caucasia in 10, Caceres in five and Puerto Valdivia in just an hour.
Evacuation endeavours have presently started in the municipalities that could be flooded in the function the dam breaks.
“Everyone is fearful, especially due to the fact no one appreciates what will come about,” Ituango-based journalist Nicolas Bedoya told Colombia Experiences.
“No one particular is aware when highway obtain will open up yet again and no one particular knows if the dam will be selecting again realizing that hundreds of family members rely on the job,” reported Bedoya.
Nationwide authorities are scurrying to generate contingency plans on avoiding a disaster and evacuating residents while EPM has sought intercontinental information on how to offer with the problem.
Ranking company Fitch alerted buyers previous week that the problems at EPM’s billion-dollar task could influence its economic balance for yrs. The rating agency’s negative observation was issued in advance of the organization was forced to abandon the venture as a whole.
The Detrimental Observation of the ranking reflects a greater likelihood of delays in the construction of the Ituango hydroelectric challenge, which will very likely maximize the force on the money composition of EPM Inversiones in a sustained way. In addition, logistical and environmental facets have greater the uncertainty bordering the likelihood of sizeable expense overruns and related liabilities.
As the nationwide authorities test to reply to the emergency, tens of hundreds of Colombians stay in anxiety that they could shed their residences on both of those sides of the dam.