Colombia landslide kills 23 including many sheltering in house

A landslide in north-west Colombia has killed at least 23 people and injured around 30 more, local authorities say.

The road connecting the cities of Medellín and Quibdo had been closed by several landslides, so many people stopped their cars to take shelter in a house near the community of Carmen de Atrato, a local official said.

Another landslide then struck the road, burying them and some of the vehicles.

The local mayor said some people were still trapped by the debris.

The area in Choco province, bordering the Pacific Ocean, is heavily forested and has been hit by significant rainfall in the past 24 hours.

Images on social media and television channels showed cars destroyed and partially buried by mud and fallen rocks.

On the road “many people” left their vehicles to take shelter in a house near the municipality of Carmen de Atrato, an official from the Choco governor’s office told AFP.

“Unfortunately a landslide came and buried them,” the official added.

Reuters Firefighters gather during an operation to rescue survivors of a landslide caused by heavy rains in Choco, Colombia January 13, 2024. YReutersIn Choco, firefighters gathered to rescue survivors of the landslide

Colombian President Gustavo Preto pledged “all help available” to the Choco region.

In a post on social media, Colombia’s Vice President Francia Marquez said around 30 people had been injured.

Carmen de Atrato’s mayor, Jaime Herrera, told a local TV station that people were seriously injured while others were still trapped under the landslide, without saying exactly how many.

While Colombia is currently going through a period of drought, the country’s Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies has previously warned over the danger posed by heavy rains in areas bordering the Pacific and the Amazon rainforest.

Source: BBC

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