A landslide following weeks of drenching rains has buried more than 50 homes in northwestern Colombia, killing at least two people and likely leaving dozens trapped beneath mud and rubble, officials said Sunday.
Antioquia state emergency management director John Rendon said two bodies have been recovered and six injured people have been rescued after the mudslide in the Medellin suburb of Bello.
“It was a mass landslide that buried more than 50 homes approximately and we are talking about 40 or 50 people possibly being underneath the rubble,” Rendon said.
Rendon said trained dogs were attempting to locate people beneath tons of sodden earth. Authorities are also trying to get heavy equipment to the scene.
Landslides are common in Colombia’s rugged Andes mountains, and rains have been especially heavy this year. The Red Cross attributes at least 176 deaths this year to the heavy rains.
President Juan Manuel Santos, who toured regions hard-hit by flooding on Sunday, said government was considering declaring a state of emergency in order to levy extraordinary funding to assist flood victims.
The Red Cross says 1,821 homes have been destroyed and another 256,083 damaged.