The Stream, April 3: More Than 200 Killed In Colombia Mudslide

The Global Rundown

Hundreds of people were killed or injured during a severe flood and mudslide in Mocoa, Colombia. Peru is asking for more international aid to respond to floods and mudslides that have caused billions of dollars of damage. After a mudslide curbed water production at its primary treatment plant last month, the water utility in Auckland, New Zealand promises more investment. Queensland is bracing for more major flooding this week along the Fitzroy River. A lack of clean drinking water is spreading cholera in Somalia, where thousands of cases have been reported. In a Uganda refugee camp, aid agencies and local residents have gone to great lengths to set up a water treatment plant and delivery system. Karnataka insists it cannot send water from the Cauvery River to Tamil Nadu as it awaits the outcome of an appeal to India’s Supreme Court.

“The rain fell on Mocoa with an intensity and force that was without precedent and devastating. It rained in two hours what falls in a month in Bogota.” –Juan Manuel Santos, president of Colombia, after floods and mudslides killed at least 210 people in the town of Mocoa over the weekend. More than 200 people were injured in the disaster, and drinking water infrastructure was also destroyed. (Associated Press)

By The Numbers

18,000 cholera cases Number recorded so far this year in Somalia, more than three times the number in a typical year, according to aid officials. Safe water supplies are scarce as the country faces a deep drought and impending famine, leaving residents to drink contaminated sources that spread the disease. Reuters

30 tanker trucks Number used to distribute drinking water through the Rhino refugee camp in Uganda, where 50,000 people seek shelter from violence in South Sudan. This photographic essay shows how the water is drawn from the Nile River, treated, and trucked to the camp. BBC News

In context: The Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, the largest in the world, illustrates the human costs of a water-scarce era.

$1.9 billion Amount Auckland, New Zealand’s water utility plans to invest in water infrastructure and other projects to ensure future water security. Heavy rainstorms and landslides last month hampered the city’s main treatment plant and created shortages, though the plant is now operating at 70 percent of capacity. New Zealand Herald

Science, Studies, And Reports

Economists in Peru expect it will cost more than $6 billion to rebuild and repair the country after a series of intense floods, an amount equal to approximately 3 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. In an appeal to the international community, Peru’s transportation minister said an additional 4,000 metric tons of aid will be needed over the next several months to respond to the disaster. Reuters

On The Radar

Government officials in Karnataka argue that they cannot release water from the Cauvery River Basin to Tamil Nadu, citing drinking water shortages in their own state. Karnataka is appealing an order by India’s Supreme Court to release the water as part of a long-running dispute between the states. The final hearings will begin in July. Hindustan Times

In context: Learn more about the decades-long quarrel between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over water allocations.

The Fitzroy River in Queensland, swollen by rains from Cyclone Debbie, could crest at 9 meters this week, putting more than 5,000 businesses and homes at risk in the city of Rockhampton. Damage from the storm across the Australian state will likely cost billions of dollars, according to Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Australian Associated Press