Mudslides in Colombia kill over 250 people, hundreds still missing

The death toll in the Colombian mudslides has risen to 254 and about 200 people are still missing. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has declared a state of emergency and thousands of rescue workers are trying to locate more survivors.

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Colombian authorities announced on Saturday that at least 254 people were killed late Friday night in the country’s Putumayo province by mudslides. In addition, about 200 people are still considered missing and about 400 people were injured. Colombian security and rescue forces are currently attempting to prevent a humanitarian crisis. “I have nothing,” said one survivor. “There’s nothing to eat and there’s no place to sleep.”

Several days of heavy rain caused the many bodies of water in the southern part of the country to overflow, producing serious mudslides that reached 17 neighborhoods in the province. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos declared a national state of emergency and flew to the scene in order to oversee the rescue efforts.

Colombia Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

“The first 48 hours are being dedicated to rescuing the victims,” a search and rescue officer stated. “We sent large amounts of drinking water. We sent ambulances and medical teams.”

Colombia Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Meanwhile, the survivors, most of whom lost their homes and some of whom still haven’t heard from their loved ones, are trying to find a place to spend the night. “I was able to get my two children out of the home but I lost everything else,” stated one of the survivors. “It’s all sand and stones.”

“We have lost our baby,” a young couple told reporters. “A little baby, we can't find him anywhere.” Another resident said that the government is barely updating the survivors about the situation.

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