The then President of Colombia Belisario Betancur, along with other members of the government, visited the earthquake (Earthquake) affected area and attended the funeral after the disaster.
Earthquake (symbolic photo)
The Popayan Earthquake on 31 March 1983, 37 years ago, had put Colombia in captivity for a long time. On the Richter scale, the magnitude of this earthquake (Earthquake) was measured at 5.5, with its epicenter at a depth of 12 to 15 kilometers southwest of Popayan. This earthquake completely changed Colombia. Following this earthquake that killed 267 people, Colombia passed new laws that mandated the need for anti-earthquake building materials in the Risk Zone to prevent earthquakes.
The 1983 earthquake that year struck ‘Maundy Thursday’ at 8:13 pm. Although it lasted less than half a minute, it caused huge damage. In this 267 people were killed and 7,500 people were injured. 14,000 buildings were damaged by the earthquake, most of which were in the historical center of the city. Of these, 6,885 buildings were damaged by more than 50 percent and the remaining 4,500 buildings suffered minor damage. 2,470 houses had also collapsed due to the earthquake.
Deaths in nearby towns and areas
It is estimated that there was a loss of about $ 50 million from this earthquake. Due to this, the local infrastructure was also severely damaged. People were forced to live without electricity and water for several days. Communications services were affected and the city’s airport was damaged, which meant it could only be used for small aircraft and helicopters.
Many of the injured had to be taken to the nearby big city of Cali. The earthquake affected many nearby towns and areas and at least 10 people died in Qajibiyo. The then President of Colombia, Belisario Betanur, along with other members of the government, visited the earthquake affected area and attended the funeral after the disaster.
Countries extended help
The government took a loan from the World Bank and planned to invest $ 80 million in the city, half of which was to be used for reconstruction and the rest to be used for economic uplift. Colombia also received help from other countries. When the Spanish Red Cross sent materials to help the injured, the Spanish government also extended a helping hand. At the same time, Venezuela sent an aircraft to provide medical help to the survivors and the United States sent materials and medical supplies worth US $ 700,000.
Colombia made a new law
Many one- and two-storey buildings that were damaged were constructed with materials that could not withstand earthquakes. These buildings were built with the assumption that they will remain unaffected by any shock of the earth. The result was that the government of Colombia passed a new building code, emphasizing the need to build buildings capable of withstanding earthquakes. The Colombian seismic network was also established to monitor seismic changes.
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