Latin America & Caribbean

Colombia landslide: 11 more bodies found in Rosas

A person shows some children's shoes after a landslide, in the village Portachuelo, in the municipality of Rosas, Cauca, Colombia, 22 April 2019. Image copyright EPA
Image caption Whole families were among those buried by the landslide

Rescue workers have found 11 bodies buried in the mud after a landslide hit the Colombian town of Rosas on Sunday.

The number of people killed in the town in south-western Cauca province has risen to 28.

At least two people are still missing but emergency workers say hopes of finding anyone alive are slim.

Landslides are common in Colombia and houses built on steep hillsides are at particular risk during the country's rainy season.

In April 2017, more than 250 people were killed when a landslide hit the town of Mocoa, in Putumayo province.

More people at risk

Rosas Mayor Jesús Eduardo Díaz said he feared other homes in the area could also be in danger after prolonged heavy rains.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The homes were buried deep in the mud
Image copyright EPA
Image caption Locals are helping with the search for at least two people who are still missing
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Dogs have been deployed in the search but hopes to find anyone alive are waning

Colombian President Iván Duque who visited the area on Monday and said a geological fault line which runs through the town had contributed to the disaster.

The mudslide happened in the early hours of Sunday and buried at least eight homes.

Mayor Díaz said it was known that the homes were at high risk of mudslides and that residents had been warned a year ago to relocate.

He says that because all that had been available to rehome them was a temporary shelter located 35 minutes away, residents decided to stay put.

President Duque said his government would "take all the necessary action to help those affected". The ministry of housing said it would build 56 new homes in the town.

Locals are angry because plans to build 92 new homes after mudslides in the rainy season of 2010/2011 stalled. A contract to build the homes was suspended in August 2018 after the construction firm was found to not be duly fulfilling its work.

Emergency workers will continue searching for the missing and work is also under way to clear mud from the Panamerican Highway, which was partly blocked by the landslide.

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