Sunday, May 9

Hurricane in Colombia: how the inhabitants of Providencia were saved despite the fact that Iota “destroyed everything”

  • Daniel Pardo
  • BBC Mundo correspondent in Colombia


98% of Providencia was destroyed.

“At 3 in the morning the ordeal began”, recalls Marichel Peñaloza. “At the time the cell phone signal was gone, the wind was furious; it blew, came and went, the earth shook, the walls, the whole world seemed to end.”

“But we kept on praying despite the anguish and we were saved by a miracle, because God is merciful, because everything material was destroyed; everything is brown, there are no trees, there are no animals, the iguanas have no trees to mount on.”

Peñaloza is one of the residents of Providencia, an island in the Colombian Caribbean, which was evacuated to the largest island of San Andrés, after Hurricane Iota devastated everything on Monday.

The 33-year-old woman was able to leave Providencia, where 5,000 people live, because a 92-year-old man, as well as his three children, depends on her.

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