News Politics

Exact moment of avalanche in Mocoa, Putumayo, counts more than 150 dead

The drama grows in Mocoa; Death toll rises to 112 It is feared that the figure will continue to rise as there are more than 200 missing, according to official reports. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos confirmed that at least 112 people were killed by floodwaters of three rivers that swept several neighborhoods of the city of Mocoa, capital of Putumayo department in the south of the country. "I have just been reporting that we are in 112 (deceased), we do not know how many will be, we continue to look and the first thing I want to say is that my heart and that of all Colombians are with the victims of this tragedy," said the president To reporters shortly after arriving in Mocoa. President Santos declared the state of calamity to better serve the victims of this tragedy. In the early hours of Saturday, heavy rains caused the Mocoa, Mulato and Sancoyaco rivers to overflow, causing avalanches in several sectors of the capital of Putumayo that caused the destruction of homes, bridges and dragging vehicles in their wake. According to the relief agencies, there were 17 affected neighborhoods, including San Miguel (where the greatest damage was recorded), San Fernando, Independencia, San Agustín and Progreso. The mayor of Mocoa, Jose Antonio Castro, said that much of the city was affected. "It is a fairly large strip, a large part of that large population practically took the avalanche, (...) were warned in time and managed to leave people, but the houses were erased in practically 17 neighborhoods." At this moment the rescue agencies are in search of work in the different districts of Mocoa with the purpose of finding more people dragged by the avalanche. Meanwhile, Alberto Medina, a resident of the sector, reported that the rains began on Friday night, and that after midnight the alarm began to sound so people began to run and seek shelter. Medina said the hospital is collapsed and needed medicines, blankets, gloves and surgical items to be able to care for all affected. The government of the department issued a communiqué to be broadcast by the outskirts in which they ask the citizens to remain calm and to be located in high places and to move away of zones bordering to the rivers. Crisis Room At 12 midnight, authorities installed a crisis room in the police command to organize rescue actions and centralize the information. According to the second statement of the crisis room, issued at 4 am, river levels began to fall. There are 17 neighborhoods affected by avalanches. In addition the hospital emergency plan was activated. Finally, they reported that there is a constant monitoring of rivers and streams.

  • Duration: 04:42