At least 14 dead after mudslide hits Colombian town

World

At least 14 people died and 35 people were injured after a mudslide brought on by heavy rains hit a town in western Colombia, officials have said.

One person is missing after the disaster in a residential area of the Dosquebradas municipality near the town of Pereira in Risaralda province on Tuesday, Carlos Maya, the town mayor, said.

There is a risk of further slides, Mr Maya warned, as he urged people to leave the area, around 200 miles (325 km) east of the capital, Bogota, to avoid further casualties.

People remove debris following a landslide caused by heavy rains, that killed and injured residents and destroyed homes, in Pereira, Colombia, February 8, 2022. REUTERS/Vladimir Encina Duque NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
Image:
The clear-up operation begins after the mudslide

Many of the houses in the neighbourhood are made of wood, and more than 60 were evacuated as teams checked the damage and assessed the risks after the nearby Otun River overflowed.

Other homes were destroyed.

A picture showing a gash in the lush foliage covering a mountain overlooking the area was released by authorities.

People remove debris following a landslide caused by heavy rains, that killed and injured residents and destroyed homes, in Pereira, Colombia, February 8, 2022. REUTERS/Vladimir Encina Duque NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES REFILE - QUALITY REPEAT
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The slide followed heavy rains

Rescue teams have been searching in the mud for more survivors, disaster management officials said.

More on Colombia

There are fears the number of dead will rise.

Colombian President Ivan Duque sent his condolences to the families of those who died.

People stand next a landslide caused by heavy rains, that killed and injured residents and destroyed homes, in Pereira, Colombia, February 8, 2022. REUTERS/Vladimir Encina Duque NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
Image:
The mudslide left a gash in the lush foliage on a mountain overlooking the area

Landslides are common in Colombia due to the mountainous terrain, frequent heavy rains and poor or informal construction of houses.

The country’s most recent large landslide disaster was in the city of Mocoa in 2017, when more than 320 people were killed.

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