On Saturday, the vice president of Colombia announced that a landslide in a native village in the northwestern region caused the deaths of 33 individuals.
Rescue workers were frantically searching through thick mud, racing against time to locate any survivors in the debris.
Francia Marquez, Vice President, shared on social media that 33 individuals were confirmed dead and 19 sustained injuries from a landslide. She also mentioned that approximately 80 people were impacted by the incident.
Previously, authorities had reported that the number of fatalities from the landslide that occurred on Friday, connecting the cities of Medellin and Quibdo in the Choco department, was 23, with 20 people sustaining injuries.
President Gustavo Petro stated on social media Friday that all possible aid is being provided to Choco during this devastating catastrophe.
Officials in Medellin reported on Saturday morning that a total of 17 bodies had been brought to the city and that three of them had been identified by forensic experts. The identities of the deceased have not been disclosed.
Rescue teams and firefighters faced difficulties in reaching the most severely impacted area due to multiple road closures. An official informed AFP that helicopters were requested for assistance.
“We have been collaborating with emergency and relief groups on the Quibdo-Medellin road since last night,” stated the police. “We utilized all of our resources to assist and rescue those impacted.”
Approximately 50 soldiers were also present to offer assistance. The army’s images depicted men covered in mud, struggling through a swampy landscape.
The heavy rainfall for over 24 hours triggered a landslide in Choco, a region located on the Pacific coast and known for its expansive tropical rainforest.
According to a local official interviewed by AFP, numerous travelers were stranded due to a previous landslide on Friday. As a result, they had abandoned their vehicles and sought refuge in a nearby house located in the municipality of Carmen de Atrato.
The official, who requested to remain anonymous, stated that they were buried by an avalanche.
Photographs posted on social media and aired on television depict a portion of a mountain detaching and falling onto a row of vehicles, accompanied by audible cries.
In December 2022, a landslide occurred in the same region of Colombia, resulting in the deaths of at least 27 individuals who were trapped in a bus and other vehicles.
The Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies has cautioned about potential heavy rainfall in the Amazon and various departments near the Pacific, despite most of Colombia currently experiencing a period of dryness.