The Colombian Government declared this Saturday, October 8, “maximum alert” on the island of San Andrés before the passage of tropical storm Julia, which will strengthen in the next few hours until it becomes a hurricane.
(President orders hotels in San Andrés to open space for shelters).
“It is highly likely that storm Julia will become a hurricane and reach San Andrés between 7 and 9 at night”Colombian President Gustavo Petro reported in a message on his Twitter account.
The Colombian archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina was hit in November 2020 by the category 5 hurricane Iota, which caused serious damage to the infrastructure of the islands and also in Central America.
According to the latest report from the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (Ideam), the entity in charge of monitoring meteorological phenomena in
Colombia, the tropical storm will strengthen into a hurricane this afternoon or evening and “there is a high probability that Julia will pass directly by the island of San Andrés”.
This will mean that “sustained winds of 119 km/h or more” may occur and strong and extreme accumulated rainfall is expected that could exceed 120 millimeters, electrical storms, gusts of wind and storm surge in the area of the archipelago, the only insular department of Colombia.
(Flights to San Andrés are suspended after a hurricane alert).
The General Maritime Directorate (Dimar) agreed on this, who warned of the rainfall that will increase throughout the day and that, due to the interaction of Julia with the Monsoon Valley and the Darién low pressure system, there will be some rains. along the central and northern coast of the Colombian Caribbean.
In this context, it is estimated for this Saturday a increase in height and waves in the western Caribbean Sea with values of up to 4 meters in open water.
According to the latest bulletin from the US National Hurricane Center (NHC, for its acronym in English), based in Miami, Julia was located at 12:00 GMT this Saturday about 165 miles (270 km) to the east- southeast of Providencia Island and moving west near 21 mph (33 km/h) with maximum sustained winds near 60 mph (95 km/h). Julia or its remnants will then turn west-northwestward and be near the Pacific coast of Central America on Monday.
Effects on the Colombian Atlantic coast
Given the passage of Julia, which on Friday caused heavy downpours and floods in areas of the Colombian Atlantic coast, Ideam recommended that the National Disaster Risk Management System (SNGRD) take measures due to the increase in rains, electrical storms, strong winds with possible gusts and strong waves.
Petro also referred to the measures that should be adopted in San Andrés before the passage of the hurricane and asked “the entire hotel infrastructure” of the island “open space for shelters to vulnerable population”.
(Colombia, with the cheapest cities to live in South America).
Colombia already suspended on Friday the air operation of the Caribbean archipelago and the boarding of non-resident passengers. Before becoming Tropical Storm Julia, Tropical Depression Thirteen made landfall on the La Guajira Peninsula in northern
Colombia, where it caused flooding in Riohacha, the departmental capital.