BFF-05 Final Colombia mudslide death toll is 33: authorities

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BFF-05

COLOMBIA-EMERGENCY-ACCIDENT-LANDSLIDE

Final Colombia mudslide death toll is 33: authorities

BOGOTA, April 26, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – The final death toll from a mudslide
that buried houses in southwestern Colombia is 33, rescue authorities said on
Thursday.

After five days of digging through the mud, Colombia’s risk and disaster
agency said it had recovered the “final” body of an unaccounted person.

Rescuers had to remove tons of mud to find the bodies of the 28 adults and
five children buried by the mudslide in Rosas, in the department of Cauca.

It has been the worst accident this year during Colombia’s rainy season,
which began in mid-March.

Gerardo Torres, 50, lost 13 family members in the tragedy.

“I’m burying my family… I have to thank the Rosas community because in
truth everyone helped me to find my family,” he told AFP. Otherwise, “I would
have been alone there with my shovel.”

The mudslide blocked an important road linking Colombia with its neighbor
Ecuador.

It occurred early on Sunday, burying eight houses in a high risk area where
authorities say an evacuation order had been given.

BSS/AFP/GMR/0819 hrs