Handout picture released by the Colombian Army press office showing soldiers helping to evacuate locals following mudslides caused by heavy rains, in Mocoa, Putumayo department, on April 1, 2017. Mudslides in southern Colombia -caused by the rise of the Mocoa River and three tributaries- have claimed at least 16 lives and injured some 65 people following recent torrential rains, the authorities said. / AFP PHOTO / EJERCITO DE COLOMBIA / HO /
Flooding and mudslides in central Colombia have killed at least eight people, the Red Cross said Wednesday, causing alarm in a country still recovering from mudslides that killed hundreds.
At least 20 people are missing after torrential rains lashed the city of Manizales, officials said, raising fears the death toll could soar as it did earlier this month in the southern city of Mocoa.
There, at least 323 people including more than 100 children were killed when heavy rain caused three mountain rivers to flood on March 31, hurling a tidal wave of mud and boulders into the city.
Manizales “is literally cut off by rock slides, mudslides, floods,” Mayor Jose Octavio Cardona told local radio stations.
President Juan Manuel Santos suspended his official agenda to travel to the city, the capital of Caldas department — which is, like Mocoa, a remote and difficult region to access.
He said on Twitter he had ordered officials from the emergency agency and transport ministries to the city to assess the “grave situation.”