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At least 11 dead in landslide in Colombia


An “undetermined” number of people are still missing due to the landslide in the municipality of Abriaquí, which was caused by heavy rains, the Antioquia Risk Management Agency (Dagran) said.

Most of the victims are believed to be miners, who worked at an unofficial gold mine that was covered by the landslide in an uninhabited area of ​​Abriaquí, the National Disaster Risk Management Unit said.

Authorities are heading to the site to support emergency services and assess possible damage to infrastructure, Dagran said.

“This situation once again fills us with sadness. Last Monday, we stressed that these events will continue to happen, and we cannot avoid them because they are natural phenomena, but we can avoid the loss of life,” said Dagran manager Jaime Gomez.

“We are in the rainy season, so people who live or have activities by the rivers should not be near these tributaries. Risk management is a matter of co-responsibility of all Colombians, and it depends on us all to do what we can to protect life,” Gomez said.

Antioquia Governor Anibal Gaviria said on Twitter that he would meet with his cabinet and then travel to Abriaquí after what he called a “painful tragedy”.

President Ivan Duque on Thursday expressed solidarity with the families of the victims and said relief agencies were engaged in search operations with the relief agency.

“We are making available the necessary aid to assist the victims of this tragedy caused by the heavy rains of the past few hours. We will maintain permanent monitoring of the situation,” Duque tweeted.

Landslides are common in Colombia due to mountainous terrain, frequent heavy rains and poor or informal house construction, Reuters reported.

The rainy season, which started on March 16, has already taken its toll on more than 9,000 people across the country, the National Disaster Risk Management Unit said.

Before that, in early February, 15 people died and 35 were injured in a landslide in the western town of Pereira.

And in 2017, at least 254 people were killed by mudslides in the southern city of Mocoa.

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