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Death Toll in Colombia Mudslide Rises to 250

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It has been reported that the current confirmed death toll caused by a sudden mudslide, which occurred in Colombia has risen to 250. Majority of the ones dead are from the capital city of Mocoa. Reports indicated that 206 of the fatalities were from the said city and that hundreds of people are still missing.

Mocoa is the capital of the south-western department of Columbia. It is located near the Andes Mountains wherein heavy rainfalls are frequent. However, due to torrential rain that intensified throughout the night, the rivers Mocoa, Sangoyaco and Mulata began to overflow and send mud and debris raging through the city.

The mudslide began at around 11:00 PM on the 31st of March, heavy rains started to pour. As the night grew deeper the rainfall became more intense. At 3:00 A.M. 1st of April, flood water accompanied by mud and debris started flowing through the city streets.

Houses along the banks were swept away along with other houses from the neighboring towns, which were built from light materials. The city of Mocoa was partially submerged in mud and dead bodies were scattered almost everywhere. The entire place was practically unrecognizable after the mudslide.

On the 2nd day of April, businesses were closed and power was down. People are distraught and are looking for their loved ones. Many homes had been erased from the landscape and some were left unhospitable. To date, this single incident has been recorded as the most devastating natural calamity that has hit this region of Colombia.

Meanwhile, aid has been sent to the region. The Colombian Red Cross has made use of their National Crisis room in order to respond to the situation. More than 2000 men were deployed to different areas to commence search and rescue operations including 1400 soldiers and around 800 police personnel. The Army also provided 63 vehicles, 10 choppers, 6 planes and 7 boats to help in rescuing survivors and recovering bodies.

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