The official pointed out that the evacuation instruction will remain in resolution 1056 of November 4, 2022, which is being drafted and will be published soon
The director of the Ungrd announced that will ask the Colombian Geological Service to make a visit to Hidroituango. Photo: Colprensa.
In the last few minutes, from the Unified Command Post, in the Coliseum of Puerto Valdivia, district of Valdivia, in Antioquia, the director of the National Unit for the Management of Disaster Risk, Javier Pava Sánchez, announced, after more than three hours of discussions, that they insist on the preventive evacuation of the populations near the Hidroituango reservoir before it begins operations on November 30.
“The instruction that we are giving from the Unit is that a preventive evacuation be carried out, not because there is an imminent risk or because there is a disaster, but because we need to have the greatest peace of mind and security. Until that evacuation is carried out, those activities that can generate a level of risk should not be started,” Pava firmly stated this Saturday.
These statements are given despite the objections of the Medellín Public Companies that insisted that there was no imminent risk in the work, so, according to Pava, they will not give in to the request for the evacuation of the inhabitants of the Puerto Valdivia corregimiento. and from the El Doce sector, in Tarazá, as a preventive measure. Likewise, the official pointed out that the evacuation instruction will remain in resolution 1056 of November 4, 2022, which is being drafted and will be published soon.
“We are recommending the evacuation of Puerto Valdivia and the definition of a series of indicators that allow us to see how the risk conditions are evolving in order to know if we extend it to Tarazá or Cáceres if necessary. The evacuation of Puerto Valdivia is over, it's a fact,” Pava said.
Another of the announcements made by the director of the Ungrd is the request that he will submit to the Colombian Geological Service to carry out a visit to Hidroituango and issue a concept that allows the National Government to have more detailed and precise information on the stability of the project.
It is worth noting that the installation of the PMU, which took place around noon on Saturday, November 5, and in which the parties participated, arrived with divided positions regarding the risks that exist on the project. While from the national government they insist that a preventive evacuation must be carried out, from the Public Companies of Medellín, which is behind the hydroelectric project, they point out that Hidroituango is not at a higher risk level. It was the same EPM manager, Jorge Andrés Carrillo, who asked “not to be alarmed, not to panic. The project is under control and there is no risk of collapse.”
“We don't have any kind of fear. Even the day that catches fire I'll stop here if you want. The project is under control, it is stable, and it will only come into operation when it is safe and reliable,” said EPM manager Jorge Andrés Carillo.
For its part, the National Government, headed by the director of the National Unit for Disaster Risk Management (Ungrd), Javier Pava Sánchez, stated that these scenarios must be taken with greater care, because the decisions made there will fall on responsibilities.
“We hope that in the end nothing happens, but where something happens here there are going to be responsibilities. Our duty is to warn. We are recommending and demanding that preventive evacuations be carried out, especially in the site that we consider to be on red alert, which is where it is very close to the project area. From when and until when? This must be decided by EPM, which knows the risk scenarios and must establish what that period is,” said Pava.
The official stated that this should be done above all at the site considers it a red alert, which is the area closest to the project area, in this regard Olga Arroyave, mayor of Valdivia, stated, as quoted in RCN News: “God allow nothing to happen, that the project can come into operation because it would be terrible if we had to evacuate Puerto Valdivia again.”