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Colombia: Landslide covers busy road, deaths reported

January 13, 2024

A mudslide in Colombia killed at least 18 people who were trying to take shelter in a house near a road linking Medellin and Quibdo. Others may still be trapped.

https://p.dw.com/p/4bCTM
Handout picture showing stopped vehicles after a landslide in the road between Quibdo and Medellin, Choco Department, Colombia, on January 12, 2024.
The avalanche hit a highway on a busy municipal road linking the cities of Medellin and QuibdoImage: Colombia's Fire Department/AFP

A landslide hit northwest Colombia on Friday, killing at least 18 people and injuring some 30 others, local authorities said.

The avalanche covered a highway on a busy municipal road linking the cities of Medellin and Quibdo.

President Gustavo Petro said his government would provide all support needed, describing it in a social media post as a "horrible tragedy."

What do we know about the landslide?

People got out of their vehicles when the mudslide hit the road to "take shelter in a house" near the municipality of Carmen de Atrato, an official from the governor's office in Choco department told the French AFP news agency.

"Unfortunately a landslide came and buried them," the official said, referring to the 18 deaths so far reported. Carmen de Atrato mayor Jaime Herrera told local TV that some people are believed to be still trapped under the landslide.

Authorities said they would start their search operation for those missing.

The cause of the avalanche remains unclear. But the Defense Department reported rains in the area, which complicated the rescue operations.

Deadly landslide strikes Colombia

rmt/dj (AFP, AP)