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10:23 23 May
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14 dead in Colombia landslides


At least 14 people are confirmed dead Wednesday and 20 others missing after heavy rains have caused landslides in Manizales, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

 

An estimated 70 families have been effected and 30 homes destroyed in the city of 400,000 residents just 180 miles (290 kilometers) west of Bogota when a landslide struck at 6.45 a.m. (1145GMT) Wednesday.

 

Roads leading to Manizales have been blocked with debris making the city unreachable and the airport is closed due to poor conditions.

 

Mayor Jose Octavio Cardona told W Radio the rains are “the heaviest to have happened in recent years,” and that “landslides are occurring every five to 10 minutes in various sectors,” of the city.

 

Local meteorological said more than 15 centimeters (6 inches) of rain fell Tuesday night and Wednesday morning -- equivalent to one month of rainfall in the mountainous region.

 

Schools have been closed and roads remain blocked as rescue services try to reach affected areas. Rain is forecast for the next two days

 

President Juan Manuel Santos announced via Twitter he would go to the affected area but current conditions forced him to reroute his flight to nearby Medellin and from there he will be transferred to Manizales.

 

Colombia’s varied and mountainous geography is no stranger to landslides and other natural disasters.

 

This latest catastrophe comes on the heels of the destruction of much of the southern city of Mocoa where 323 victims were killed after three rivers breached their banks following heavy rains April 1.

 

As for Wednesday, 103 people are still missing.

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