Colombia ranks 10th globally in terms of economic risk posed by three or more hazards. The country has the highest recurrence of extreme events in South America, with 84 percent of the population and 86 percent of its assets in areas exposed to two or more hazards. Rapid population growth in poorly planned urban areas, informal settlements, and densely populated coastal areas, coupled with the effects of climate change, are already exacerbating flooding and landslides in the country. Sea level rise also poses a danger to coastal and insular areas. Colombia is also at risk to earthquakes, droughts, and cyclones.
This section provides a summary of key natural hazards and their associated socioeconomic impacts in a given country. And it allows quick evaluation of most vulnerable areas through the spatial comparison of natural hazard data with development data, thereby identifying exposed livelihoods and natural systems.
The charts provide overview of the most frequent natural disaster in a given country and understand the impacts of those disasters on human populations.
Climate change is now recognized to have a significant impact on disaster management efforts and pose a significant threat to the efforts to meet the growing needs of the most vulnerable populations. The demands of disaster risk management are such that concise, clear, and reliable information is crucial. The information presented here offers insight into the frequency, impact and occurrence of natural hazards. Source (PDF)
Understanding natural hazard occurrence as well as historical climate conditions, in relation to development contexts, is critical to understanding a country’s historical vulnerability. This tool allows the visualization of different natural hazards or historical climate conditions with socio-economic and development datasets. Select the Development Context and either a Natural Hazard or Climate Condition and overlay horizontally by sliding the toggle left or right to gain a broader sense of historically vulnerable areas.
Data presented under Historical Climate Conditions are reanalysis products derived from ERA5-Land data. ERA5-Land is a global land-surface dataset at 9 km resolution, consistent with atmospheric data from the ERA5 reanalysis from 1950 onward. Climate reanalyses combine past observations with models to generate consistent time series of multiple climate variables. They provide a comprehensive description of the observed climate as it has evolved during recent decades, on 3D grids at sub-daily intervals.
This data has been collected, aggregated and processed by the Climate Resilience Cluster of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Earth Observation for Sustainable Development (EO4SD) initiative.
- Sea-level rise: It is estimated that by 2050-2060, the sea level on the Caribbean and Pacific Coast could increase by 40-60cm as compared to the period 1961-1990. More than a million people could be affected, 85 percent living in urban areas.
- Floods and landslides- The lower basins and valleys of Colombia’s principle rivers are showing vulnerability (the Magdalena, Cauca, Sinnu, Atrato, and Putumayo.) These areas are highly susceptible to flooding, and there have been increases in intensity and occurrence in recent years.
More information on natural hazards can be found at ThinkHazard.
- If there is a true correlation between climate change and increases in the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the associated extreme weather events, including floods, droughts and heat waves would produce severe socioeconomic and environmental impacts including crop failure, forest fires, reduction in of energy security due to interruptions in hydropower generation.
- Increases in La Niña events will lead to higher incidence of droughts, affecting water supplies and crop production.
- Runoff levels are expected to rise in coastal regions and could affect areas that already exhibit prevalent floods and landslides, increasing erosion and the occurrence of natural disasters.
- Agriculture in Colombia is vulnerable to increases in aridity, soil erosion, and desertification due to increasing climate variability all of which already pose serious problems and could in turn threaten food security.
- With the expected rise in sea level of 40-60cm, millions of coastal inhabitants are at risk of exposure to flooding in coastal zones and damage to commerce and human settlements.
- Water sources would also be vulnerable to saltwater intrusion and increased temperature will cause glacial retreat, and thus, compromise rural and municipal water supplies.
- Increases in vector-transmitted diseases malaria and dengue fever due to climate variability.