Colombia declares state of emergency as landslides kill dozens

World Today

Colombia Deadly River OverflowIn this handout photo released by the Colombian National Army, soldiers carry a victim on a stretcher, in Mocoa, Colombia, Saturday, April 1, 2017. (Colombian Army Photo via AP)

In Colombia, over 150 people are dead after torrential rains triggered landslides. Relief efforts are under way but hundreds remain missing.

CGTN’s Michelle Begue reports.

Colombia declares state of emergency as landslides kill dozens

In Colombia, over 150 people are dead after torrential rains triggered landslides. Relief efforts are under way but hundreds remain missing. CGTN's Michelle Begue reports.

Heavy rains in the southwest part of Colombia caused a massive landslide with mud and debris crashing into houses, leading to widespread death and destruction.

Hundreds of people are reported missing in the town of Mocoa.

President Juan Manuel Santos traveled to Putumayo Province to assess the extent of the damage.

“We don’t know how many more dead there will be, we are still looking. First of all, I want to say that my heart and the hearts of all Colombians are with the victims of this tragedy,” Santos said. “We have declared with the governess, a state of calamity so we can best attend this situation. We have a plan of action with the institutions that are here, and we are going to send humanitarian help and tend to all the injured.”

Troops have been deployed as part of the emergency response. Officials say some towns have been cut off without electricity and water.

The landslide followed heavy rains which caused the Mocoa River to overflow. Rescuers say 17 neighborhoods have been affected and one police official says the weather is still creating problems.

According to the government’s weather forecasters, March was Colombia’s rainiest month in six years.


PHOTOS: Colombia deadly river overflow

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