The blockade on the access roads to Hidroituango, which has been in force since October 3, which had as a consequence, as reported by Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM), in addition to concern for the country’s energy security, the deployment of a search operation for two young people from the area.
Jorge Andrés Carrillo, general manager of EPM, revealed that currently around 3,000 people reside in Hidroituango, distributed throughout the project, so these families joined together to prevent passage to the hydroelectric plant and demand that the company help them with the missing.
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However, Carrillo explained that the project is in a mixed phase, with units in operation and others under construction. Units 1 and 2 currently contribute 6% of the country’s energy, while units 3 and 4 are in the process of construction, with the obligation to complete them before November 30.
However, the blockade on access roads created serious obstacles. Carrillo expressed: “Both phases are in full swing, but with the blockade it is no longer possible to access or exit the powerhouse, circulate on the dam road and connect Ituango with Briceño; We cannot even transport personnel through the reservoir, it is a total blockade.”
On the other hand, in the resources part, despite the willingness shown by the national government to provide support, Carrillo pointed out that the resources provided through Findeter will not be enough to address the growing financial needs of these companies.
Carrillo warned that if the blockades continued, there was the real possibility that companies will not be able to meet their energy purchase obligations, which could lead to the suspension of electrical service in certain areas of the country.
The EPM manager highlighted that conversations are taking place with the National government, headed by President Petro, in an effort to address these financial problems and guarantee the continuity of energy supply for Colombians.
However, it also highlights concern about the public order situation in the area where the Hidroituango hydroelectric plant is located, warning that these events could have consequences.
After days of blockade that prevented access to the Hidroituango hydroelectric plant, located in Antioquia, the road was cleared after the arrival of yellow machinery that supports the operations of search for two missing people in the plant’s area of influence.
The community and relatives of the young people who unfortunately lost their lives on Sunday, October 1, wanted the authorities to help them recover the bodies, so the blockades were extended for five days.
The two missing people were identified as Luis Orlides Mazo Jaramillo and Luis Alberto Mazo Jaramillo, brothers originally from the municipality of Briceño, in Northern Antioquia. The incident occurred while they were swimming near the mouth of the San Andrés de Cuerquia Riverin the vicinity of the Hidroituango project.
EPM deeply regretted what happened and actively joined the search efforts. As soon as the incident became known, a search protocol was activated, led by the Red Cross sectional Antioquia and the firefighters of the municipality of Toledo, both entities with agreements established with the energy company.
The lifting of the blockade facilitated the access of rescue teams and yellow machinery, which increases the chances of finding the young people and hoping to provide a response to this tragic situation.
While search and rescue operations continue in Hidroituango, a dialogue table is being held to address issues related to the energy security and coordination of efforts in the area. The local community and authorities are working together to ensure the well-being of all those involved in this emergency operation.