Colombia: Toll in deadly mudslides increases

MANIZALES, Colombia – Searchers recovered more bodies on Nov. 8 from the debris of a massive weekend mudslide in the city, raising the death toll to 45, authorities said.

The mudslide in Manizales, a city of 350,000 some 287 kilometers (178 miles) west of Bogotá, swept through the Cervantes neighborhood early on Nov. 5, demolishing as many as 14 houses.

The bodies of two people were found during the course of the morning, said Sandra Calvo, a spokeswoman for Colombia’s Risk Management Office.

“We still estimate that 11 people are missing,” she said.

Rescue work was briefly interrupted on the morning of Nov. 8 due to rainfall.

Scores of Colombians still were awaiting news of loved ones buried since Nov. 5 as the likelihood of finding more survivors diminished by the hour.

State weather monitors warn that the heavy rain that has been soaking Colombia since September will last through the first months of 2012 due to the cyclical La Niña weather phenomenon.

[AFP, 09/11/2011; Canalrcnmsn.com (Colombia), 09/11/2011]

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