Colombia declares state of emergency following devastating floods

World Today

In this handout photo released by the Colombian National Army, soldiers and rescue workers evacuate residents from the area in Mocoa, Colombia, Saturday, April 1, 2017. (Colombian Army Photo via AP)

Colombia in a state of “economic, social and ecological emergency.”

President Juan Manuel Santos made the declaration after heavy rains caused rivers surrounding the southern city of Mocoa to overflow.

CGTN’s Toby Muse reports from Mocoa, where rescue crews search for survivors, as mourners begin funerals for those confirmed dead.

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.

President Santos has pledged both emergency relief and that Mocoa will be rebuilt. Several humanitarian organizations have stepped in to help the Colombian government with search-and-rescue efforts and to distribute much-needed supplies in the country’s Putamayo province.

While acknowledging “bottlenecks” in the relief process, President Santos announced he would be traveling to the area alongside officials to help assess and confirm that government aid was being delivered.

Provash Budden on relief efforts following the Colombian landslides

For more on the ground in Colombia, CGTN’s Mike Walter spoke to Provash Budden. He is the director of Mercy Corps in Columbia.