Heavy rainfall in southwestern Colombia flooded the rivers and the streets of the cities.The disaster took place on Friday night, when heavy rains fell in the country, and the rivers of the region overflowed. Many houses were flooded with water and mud. Seventeen neighborhoods were hit by an avalanche, and more than 1,100 soldiers and police are trying to rescue trapped people buried under mud.
The number of people killed in the mudstorm in the city of Mocoa in southwestern Colombia rose to 254; 200 people are still missing, the local police said. The police also said that the large hospital in the area was finding it hard to cope with the large number of patients, and that the bodies of adults, women and children had been removed from the mud collapse.
Jose Antonio Castro, mayor of Mocoa, said: “This is a large area, many of the houses were hit by the avalanche, but the residents were warned long enough in advance and had time to evacuate.” Castro added that “the number of casualties is constantly rising and the situation rooms continue to report more casualties, but we pray to G-d that the numbers will not rise again, because it is very sad.”
A representative of the national disaster management unit told the French news agency that the mud landslides were caused by the rise of the Mocoa River.
In neighboring Peru, more than 90 people were killed in the beginning of the year as a result of severe flooding and mudslides.