Death toll from Colombia landslide rises to 14

The death toll in Monday evening’s landslide on a road linking Bogota to southeastern Colombia has risen to 14, according to a new report released Tuesday.

“We have found 14 bodies,” Nicolas Garcia, the governor of the Cundinamarca department, said in a video posted on Twitter.

He said six people were found alive and were sent to hospitals.

In a previous report, Colonel Jorge Diaz, the local director of civil protection, had reported eight deaths, including a child, as well as six injuries and a dozen missing.

He also said that 20 houses were “washed away” by the landslide.

“It was not possible to determine the number of missing people, but we are talking about eleven (…). We are trying to identify the people who were inside these 20 destroyed houses,” he told AFP. Use to live.”

A little earlier, firefighters who had evacuated about forty people had noted “20 missing”.

The governor of the Cundinamarca department gave no indication in his video on the number of people missing in the drama.

Fire captain Álvaro Farfan said, “Due to heavy rain yesterday afternoon and evening, at about 11:15 p.m., there was a torrential flood in the village of Naranjal.”

The landslide occurred near a toll station located near the municipality of Quetém in the Cundinamarca department, about sixty kilometers from the capital Bogota.

Due to this a bridge also collapsed.


“Many families have lost two, three or four members of their families,” said Camilo Parrado, the mayor of Queteme.

He told El Radio, “Relief organizations are using drones to resume the search. In some areas the mud reaches almost one meter in height, while in others up to two metres, it is very complicated.”

The army has announced the deployment of around 80 soldiers to help in the search for the missing.

Many vehicles, including trucks and motorcycles, were stuck in mud and rocks on the road, where landslides are frequent, according to AFP.

The road axis, one of the country’s main roads, connects Bogotá with Villavicencio, the main city in the country’s southeast. Local media showed terrible traffic jams at the exit from Bogotá to Villavicencio.

Colombian President Gustavo Petro responded on Twitter saying, “The deaths in Cutem, Cundinamarca show the urgent need for management of the region with regard to water (…). My condolences to the families of the victims.”

In December, 34 people, including eight minors, died when a landslide buried a bus and several other vehicles in the northwest.

Road accidents are one of the main causes of death in Colombia, with more than 7,200 people killed in 2021 in the country of 50 million inhabitants.

The rainy season there starts in June and usually lasts till November. Last year, it caused about 300 deaths and affected 700,000 people.

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