Landslide in Colombia


Colombian Landslide

Landslides of mud, rocks, and rushing water in Mocoa, Colombia have caused search and rescue teams to frantically look for hundreds of missing people who have not been seen since early Saturday. This mudslide is the deadliest so far in a wave of flood-related disasters throughout South America. Officials from the national disaster agency have counted that at least 254 people have died, 203 people have been injured, and many are in critical condition.

Since the landslide was so severe, power and utilities are out and will not be restored for potentially two weeks. Survivors of the natural disaster have been spending the past few days in makeshift shelters while staying on high alert for any more rainfall that could create another mudslide. Mudslides occur when water rapidly accumulates in the ground and causes a surge of water, rocks, loose earth, and debris. In Colombia, the Mocoa River flooded as a result of heavy rainfall and created a perfect storm for such a devastating and large disaster. 

24-year-old policeman Deciderio Ospina was killed while responding to calls from residents whose homes were flooded. Many residents of the city of Mocoa have lost hope and said that they felt like the world was ending. Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos has reassured his country that Mocoa will be “better than before.” He believes the incident was a direct effect climate change, considering Mocoa received half the amount of water in one night that the city got in the entire month of March.