At least 14 dead in Colombian landslide following heavy rain

Rescuers continue to scour the mud for survivors following the disaster in the coffee-growing province of Risalda.

A rescuer and his dog search for survivors in a pile of mud and debris after the landslide in
The search for survivors was continuing after at least 14 people were killed in the landslide in central Colombia [Luis Robayo/AFP]

At least 14 people have been killed and 35 injured after a landslide buried several homes in central Colombia, Colombia’s national disaster agency said.

“Our updated report indicates that 35 people were injured, 14 lost their lives and one remains missing,” the UNGRD (National Unit for Disaster Risk Management) said on Twitter.

The early morning landslide in Dosquebredas followed torrential rain in the surrounding coffee-growing province of Risalda.

Rescue teams were searching the mud for survivors.

“A very loud noise scared us. We went out and saw a piece of the mountain on top of the houses,” taxi driver Dubernei Hernandez, 42, told the AFP news agency.

“I went to that place and it was a disaster, with people trapped.”

Hernandez said he helped dig out two bodies and one survivor. He said at least five homes were buried by the mud.

Authorities evacuated dozens of nearby homes amid fears of more landslides as the Otun river overflowed.

“We are currently managing the entire evacuation perimeter because we still detect soil instability,” Alvaro Arias, government secretary in Risaralda, told Blu Radio.

A man and woman run away in panic amid concern of another landslide
People run in panic after warnings of another landslide [Luis Robayo/AFP]

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

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

Source: News Agencies