Landslide in Colombia Kills at least 17 Locals

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Landslide in the province of Cauca, southwest of Colombia, caused by recent heavy rains took the lives of 17 local residents according to the Colombian disaster relief agency on Sunday. The agency also stated that there are 25 locals still buried, 5 injured, and 8 homes devastated. The landslide occurred early morning of Easter Sunday in the Municipality of Rosas’ rural area. The death toll of 17 people is a slight increase from the initial count of 14 people.

The landslide blocked a short stretch of the Pan-American Highway located in Rosas, just southwest of Bogota with a 630-kilometer distance. The stretch that links the Colombian city of Cali and the Ecuadorian capital of Quito in the Pan-American Highway has been closed due to this disaster. Colombian military forces have already been deployed to reinforce the recovery efforts in the area.

According to President Ivan Duque via Twitter, president of Colombia, emergency services immediately responded and went to work to clear the road from obstacles that may delay the flow of humanitarian efforts to the devastated area. He also added that their solidarity goes to the victim’s family, relatives, and friends.

During rainy seasons, landslides are very prone in the Latin American countries, especially in the mountainous areas in Colombia. However, it’s not just mountainous areas; narrow roadways and informal housings constructed nearby the Andean hillsides are also in danger of landslides. The Andean hill has long been a victim of deforestations.

Jesus Diaz, the local town’s mayor, expressed that disasters like this happen unexpectedly and that incidents like this are always due to unfortunate heavy rains.

Currently, authorities are continuously clearing debris that are blocking important roads, digging for buried survivors, and tending to the injured. Alternative temporary housings and medical assistance are currently being arranged for those who’ve lost loved ones and their homes.

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