Dozens Killed in Horrible Mudslide

Dozens Killed in Horrible Mudslide

( – The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reported that Colombia’s varied terrain is home to several distinct natural hazards, including major earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, cyclones, floods, and tsunamis. In 1987, a major landslide pounded Medellín’s Villatina neighborhood, impacting nearly 6,500 people and claiming 640 lives. Likewise, Medellín’s tropical conditions recently led to a horrific landslide near the “City of Eternal Spring,” killing several people and injuring dozens.

On Saturday, January 13, The Associated Press published a report detailing the deadly incident that struck a busy municipal thoroughfare connecting Medellín to Quibdó earlier that day. At that time, government officials reported that 34 people died and dozens were injured when the mudslide covered the roadway.

Sadly, Colombia’s National Unit for Disaster Risk Management (UNGRD) reported on January 15 that the death toll had increased to 38. The agency also explained that it was taking several steps to help residents impacted by the mudslide.

They included:

  • Deploying interagency teams in the area, including personnel from the nation’s Air Force, National Army, and civil defense workers;
  • Providing logistical support for ongoing search and rescue efforts and funeral services;
  • Setting up a temporary bridge to help divert traffic flow until the roadway reopens; and
  • Administering a two billion pesos fund (slightly more than half a million US dollars) for response and recovery efforts.

The UNGRD advised that it was working closely with the Colombian Ministry of Health and Social Protection to provide medical care for the injured and arrange transport for patients who needed advanced lifesaving treatments. The UNGRD also reported that it was working with the National Fire Service, the Red Cross, and other government and private agencies.

Colombian President Gustavo Petro observed the damage from an aircraft on Sunday afternoon. He also promised the government would provided whatever support needed. Additionally, Chocó Governor Nubia Carolina Córdoba urged people to avoid the area since continued rainfall could trigger new mudslides.

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