Mudslide in Colombia kills at least 14, injures 34

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At least 14 people died and 34 were injured in a mudslide triggered by heavy rains in Colombia on Tuesday, the national disaster agency said.

The early morning rains touched off a landslide on a mountain in central-western Risaralda province, burying several homes in the impoverished municipality of Dosquebradas.

Rescuers search for victims after a landslide caused by heavy rains in Pereira, Risaralda department, Colombia, on February 8, 2022. (AFP)
Rescuers search for victims after a landslide caused by heavy rains in Pereira, Risaralda department, Colombia, on February 8, 2022. (AFP)

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“We have counted 14 people who died and 34 injured in the mudslide,” said local official Carlos Maya.

Rescue teams dug through the mud looking for survivors, said the National Unit for Management of Risks and Disasters.

“A very loud noise scared us. We went out and saw a piece of the mountain on top of the houses,” taxi driver Dubernei Hernandez, 42, told AFP.

“I went to that place and it was a disaster, with people trapped.”

People run due to alert of another landslide caused by heavy rains in Pereira, Risaralda department, Colombia, on February 8, 2022. (AFP)
People run due to alert of another landslide caused by heavy rains in Pereira, Risaralda department, Colombia, on February 8, 2022. (AFP)

Hernandez said he helped dig up two bodies and a survivor. He said at least five homes were buried by the mud.

The disaster agency published a photograph showing a gap in the lush green vegetation as a result of the mudslide.

Rescue teams said they feared new mudslides could result in the nearby Otun river being dammed, which would worsen the disaster.

Several families living close to the river were evacuated due to the risk of flooding.

“We are currently managing the entire evacuation perimeter because we still detect soil instability,” Alvaro Arias, government secretary in Risaralda, told Blu Radio.

Rescuers carry the body of a victim found amid of debris after a landslide caused by heavy rains in Pereira, Risaralda department, Colombia, on February 8, 2022. (AFP)
Rescuers carry the body of a victim found amid of debris after a landslide caused by heavy rains in Pereira, Risaralda department, Colombia, on February 8, 2022. (AFP)

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