Nearly a dozen killed in Columbia landslide

Nearly a dozen killed in Columbia landslide
19 Apr

At least 11 people, including three children, have been killed and 20 are missing after a landslide hit several neighbourhoods in Manizales, western Colombia, according to the government.

Mud and debris on Wednesday spilled through the streets of Manizales, the capital of Caldas province, after it received the equivalent of one month of rain overnight.

President Juan Manuel Santos will travel to the city, the government said in a statement. At least 57 houses have been affected, it added.

The Red Cross said at least 20 people were missing and at least five injured.

The incident happened less than three weeks after three rivers overflowed in Mocoa, near Colombia's southern border, leaving more than 300 people dead.

As in Manizales, the disaster in Mocoa struck overnight, catching many off guard in their sleep.

Jose Octavio Cardona, mayor of Manizales, told La FM radio there "40 or 50 landslides" provoked by a torrent of rain that began falling on Tuesday.

"The rains have been incredibly intense," he said.

The 11 dead included three children and a police officer, said Jaime Gallego, chief of the civil defence of Manizales, a city of about 400,000 people.

"They were all sleeping," Gallego said.