There has been a total blockage of the diversion tunnel at the 2400MW Ituango hydroelectric project in Colombia, EPM has confirmed, with the utility and contracted firms working on recovery efforts to allow controlled discharge of water.
EPM said that contingency plans had been activated following an initial tunnel collapse caused by a landslide in late April, which was followed by another collapse on May 7 at the project, which is currently under construction.
The incident has led to a reduction in the flow of the Cauca River downstream, and impoundment upstream.
In a statement, EPM said that teams of specialists from EPM and national and international experts from contracting firms are implementing various technical solutions to evacuate the water and restore the normal flow of the river. Both DAPARD (Administrative Department of the System of Prevention, Care and Disaster Recovery of the Government of Antioquia) and the Red Cross are present in the project area.
Recovery work, which could include reopening older tunnels, is expected to take several days.