Massive landslide leaves at least 28 dead in Colombia
By Chaffin Mitchell, AccuWeather staff writer
April 23, 2019, 2:04:04 PM EDT
At least 28 people were killed in a landslide in the southwestern Colombian province of Cauca, according to BBC News.
Five other people were injured by the mudslide, which also damaged or destroyed several homes in the village.
The landslide, which was caused by heavy rain, occurred early Sunday morning in Rosas, a municipality in the Cauca department.
"There was some heavy rainfall around the past few days," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alan Reppert said.
A large part of a mountain broke off, burying at least eight houses, the country’s disaster relief agency reports.
Columbia landslide kills at least 14 and injures five after heavy rain— Lilian Chan (@bestgug) April 21, 2019
A rescue operation is underway after a landslide in Colombia's Cauca region buried housing and blocked the Pan-American Highway pic.twitter.com/vIl669FGrP
"Localized flooding will be a risk from showers and thunderstorms the next couple of days," Accuweather Senior Meteorologist Eric Leister said.
The mayor’s office is providing shelter and a place for people to be reunited with their missing loved ones. The national army has been sent in to the area to help with the rescue efforts.
Una avalancha destruyó 7 viviendas en el municipio de Rosas en el Cauca y sepultó a familias que vivían allí. Hasta el momento hay 8 personas fallecidas y la vía Panamericana entre Popayán y Pasta está interrumpida. pic.twitter.com/IAIzN7FrAX— El País Cali (@elpaiscali) April 21, 2019
"This is normally a rainy time for Colombia though, so it’s not out of the ordinary to get some heavy rainfall," Reppert said.
"There will be an high risk for downpours and flooding from Thursday afternoon into Saturday," Leister said.
Landslides are common in mountainous Colombia, especially during the rainy season and in areas where precarious informal housing and narrow roadways are constructed on deforested Andean hillsides.
It is possible there are more victims buried in the mud and debris as at least two people remain missing.
Colombia President Iván Duque visited the Rosas area on Sunday night.
"We arrived in Rosas, Cauca, to bring solutions and support to the community," he said on Twitter. "We accompany them in this difficult moment, they have the support of the whole country."
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