Project: National HDR 2016: How to improve security of vulnerable municipalities in Serbia?

Local Communities' Responses on Natural Disasters: Columbia and Serbian experience

Heavy rainfall in Southwestern Columbia on Friday, March 31, caused flooding, landslides, and avalanches. Thirty percent of monthly rain fell just in one night. According to the most recent information, 286 pepole died (among them, there are 40 children) while hundreds are injured. Moreover, an earthquake registering a 4-degree magnitude on the Richter scale occurred only few days later. The earthquake caused additional damage and significantly decreased capapcities of local communities to effectively manage risks of natural disasters. 

City of Mocoa has been affected the most by the natural disasters and has been proclaimed as disaster zone. There was no electricity nor fuel; roads were blocked. All together made work of rescue teams even more difficult. However, this is not the first time that landslides and floods induce collapse and damage in Columbia. The landslides happened in October and November 2016 when the total death toll was 19 people. Additionally, Columbia is an active seismic area. Frequency of natural disasters not only in Columbia, but also across the globe, reveals that consequences of climate change and human-induced impact on the nature will occur more often in the future. Thus, the following question emerges: what local communities may do in order to increase resilience to the natural disasters. 

One of possible answers was developed and presented in the 2016 National Human Development Report for Serbia.