On March 18, 2015, a sudden rise of the Cañaveral River forced the families of the nearby community of La Vereda Chorritos in Colombia to evacuate the area.
The First Response Community Committee, formed and trained by the Colombian Red Cross with American Red Cross and USAID funds, led the evacuation by guiding the families into a safe zone.
The community itself reported the emergency through a radio installed last year as part of the Early Warning System (EWS) provided by the LARRA-RITA project carried out in the Risalda Department. Although the flooding cut all means of landline communication, the radio system allowed the community to reach out to the firemen of the municipality and the CDGRD, the nearest emergency response entities.
The community faced total loss of 3 houses, 20 cows, and multiple animals carried away by the river, which also affected the land and crops. However, all human lives were saved thanks to the efforts and timely response of the Community Committee.
Reporter: Jhon Jairo de la Pava
Photos: Yenny Pareja