Colombian rescue teams continue to search through several neighbourhoods in Manizales on Wednesday (19 April) where dozens have died and many are still missing in the second deadly landslide to hit the country this month.
Recent heavy rains have endangered residents in dozens of provincial towns, where makeshift construction on the slopes of the Andes makes neighbourhoods particularly susceptible to landslides and flooding. The landslide in Manizales, capital of Caldas province west of Bogota, followed a similar disaster in Mocoa, Putumayo earlier this month that killed more than 320 people and displaced thousands from their homes.
President Juan Manuel Santos said it had rained in Manizales like never before, following comments from the city's mayor that a month's average rainfall came in one night.
Santos said he was trying to get to the scene, but was delayed by continuing bad weather which had led to the closure of surrounding airports. He said the director of the national Risk Unit and the Transport Minister had reached the area.
Even in a country where rains, a mountainous landscape and informal construction combine to make landslides a common occurrence, the scale of the Mocoa disaster was daunting compared with recent tragedies, including a 2015 landslide that killed nearly 100 people. Colombia's deadliest landslide, the 1985 Armero disaster, killed more than 20,000.
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