Thousands Evacuate as Hydroelectric Dam Construction Leads to Flooding

Thousands of people living downstream from a dam in northwestern Colombia were evacuated from their homes as of Thursday, May 17, following fears that construction problems at the Hidroituango hydroelectric dam could trigger massive floods.

The evacuation notice was issued on Wednesday after new technical problems sparked flooding at the dam in Antioquia province with further rain forecast. Over the weekend a sudden release of water from the dam flooded a village, destroying schools, bridges and a health clinic, according to The Guardian.

Reuters reported the Hidroituango dam was expected to be the largest in Colombia when completed and would provide 17 percent of the South American country’s electrical supply.

This footage, posted by the Ministry of National Defense, shows the Colombian Air Force monitoring the dam. Credit: Ministry of National Defense via Storyful