January 20, 2018
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Families and rescuers have been desperately searching through mud-plastered rubble for victims of flooding after a mudslide in southwest Colombia killed nine, with 19 still missing.

The La Paila River burst its banks near the municipality of Corinto in the Cauca department at 6:40pm local time (23:40 GMT) on Tuesday, sending water, mud and debris crashing down streets and into houses.

The Corinto mayor Edward Fernando Garcia said six blocks of the municipality, home to 32,000 people, were devastated, adding that 28 people had been injured. He said four people were still missing, before that number went up, following police reports.

Local news media reported that at least 37 homes were destroyed in the neighbourhoods of La Colombiana, La Playa and Esmeralda and the towns of Carrizales, Pedregal and El Tablon, although due to the force of the mudslide, that number is likely to increase.

Troops and police helped residents in the rescue operation and heavy machinery is being used to clear mud from the devastated area.

President Juan Manuel Santos urged Colombians to take precautions against flooding and continued rains. Residents have been evacuated for fear of further slides.


SOURCE: Reuters news agency



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