Flood, mudslide hits western Colombia


An massive avalanche of mud and debris roared through a mountainous town in western Colombia before dawn on Monday, claiming the lives of at least fifty-eight people in a flash flood and mudslide precipitated by heavy rains. Residents were stirred from bed by a loud rumble and neighbors shouts of terror as modestly built homes and bridges plummeted into the Libordiana ravine. The horrific disaster happened at around 3:00 a.m. local time in the town of Salgar, about sixty miles southwest of Medellin. Dozens of rescue teams supported by Black Hawk helicopters, evacuated residents near the ravine for fear of another mudslide. President Juan Manuel Santos stated that several children lost their parents and the bodies of those killed needed to be transported to Medellin to be identified. Santos vowed to rebuild the lost homes and provide shelter and aid for the estimated five hundred people affected by the calamity. By Monday evening, Carlos Ivan Marquez (head of the National Disasters Unit), said fifty-eight people had been killed and thirty-seven critically injured. More than thirty-one homes had been demolished and an undetermined number of people are still missing. The tragedy in Salgar is said to be the single deadliest event since a 1999 earthquake in the city of Armenia that left hundreds dead.



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