SCIENTOLOGY VMS RESPOND AFTER DEVASTATING LANDSLIDES IN COLOMBIA
- Floods and mudslides crashed through 17 neighborhoods in the Colombian city of Mocoa.
- Highways, bridges and homes were destroyed by the mudslides.
- Several weeks worth of rain fell in a few hours.
- A VM team, including members of CINAT, the Colombian emergency medical team, are at the disaster site.
Severe overnight rains triggered flash flooding and landslides through the city of Mocoa, leveling whole neighborhoods and leaving more than 250 dead.
Located in a basin at the foothills of the Andes Mountains in southwest Colombia, Mocoa is prone to landslides due to the mountainous terrain and high rainfall. But little could prepare residents for what happened when weeks of rain fell in just five hours. The sudden rainfall burst the banks of three rivers surrounding the city, sending a sea of mud and debris into Mocoa.
Due to the severity of the situation, the President of Colombia declared a state of emergency. Within 24 hours, rescue personnel, soldiers and policemen arrived at the disaster site. With hundreds of Mocoa residents still missing, search and rescue teams are concentrating their initial efforts assisting those in greatest need and searching for survivors in the mud and wreckage.
Disaster response teams set up several emergency field hospitals surrounding the city but these were soon overwhelmed by injured people in need of assistance. Due to the large numbers seriously hurt, additional medical help is still urgently needed.
The IAS approved an emergency grant to send a large VM Disaster Response team to Mocoa to assist those affected by the catastrophe. There are now VMs and members of CINAT, the Colombian emergency medical specialists, at the disaster site providing the much needed help—with more en route.
The IAS grant covers the cost of flying the VM team to Mocoa. It also includes the needed emergency equipment and the team’s operational costs on the ground.
The VMs are doing whatever is needed to help. At the request of Colombian officials, a team of 30 VMs are organizing massive amounts of unsorted and undelivered clothes, provisions and first-aid supplies donated by the Colombian public. The VMs are running the logistics to ensure these donations quickly get to those in need.