Agenzia Fides REPORT–24 victims from the landslide found, but 100 are still missing Rescue and emergency workers have found 24 bodies in the rubble and mud after a landslide buried a poor Medellin suburb in the Colombian town of Bello. The Government declared a state of emergency in the affected area and there are one hundred people still missing.
The authorities have announced that they will continue as long as weather conditions permit them to, with the rescue operation in search of the inhabitants of Bello missing since Sunday, when the worst tragedy of this rainy season in Colombia hit.
The bodies of 24 dead, among which there are 10 children, were found at different times and burials are expected to begin as soon as possible in this small town on the outskirts of Medellin (in north-west Colombia).
The tragedy was caused by the landslide that swept away about forty homes in the neighbourhood of La Gabriela. In latest reports, the Risk Direction of the Ministry of Interior and Justice, said that due to the rains 194 people have been killed in Colombia so far, 248 are injured and 143 missing. In total there are about 1.6 million people who have lost their homes (about 330,429 families) in 28 of the 32 Colombian areas affected by the worst rains in decades in Colombia. The government also reported that total losses from this natural disaster could reach over one billion dollars.
This humanitarian tragedy, which is unprecedented in Colombia, could leave about two million homeless, equivalent to 4.3 percent of the population, President Juan Manuel Santos warned.
Archbishop Ricardo Tobon Restrepo of Medellin has called for solidarity with all Colombians, and he said in an interview with the agency Aciprensa that “these events are induced in part because the farmers who lived there were displaced from their own lands due to violence and had to settle in the place they found, although geologically unstable, a place where there was no assistance for regular urban development.”