At least 254 people have died, another 400 injured and 200, including a number of children, are missing after copious amounts of rain on Friday, triggered a watery-mudslide yesterday of muck and boulders upon the city of Mocoa, in the South American nation of Colombia.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has declared a state of emergency in the region after touring the devastated area, in the southwest of the country, close to the Ecuadorian and Peruvian borders. Relief workers have been joined by more than 1,000 troops and police in carrying out rescue assistance and heartbreaking recovery operations.
Prayers have been offered for the Colombia people as they cope with the natural disaster. At least three large temporary housing shelters have been erected to house the displaced.
According to the BBC-News, Colombia's National Disaster Risk Management Unit confirmed that a third of the region's expected monthly rainfall, fell during one night. The rain swelled rivers causing them to break their banks causing the horrendous mudslide. "It was a torrential rainstorm, it got really strong," local resident Mario Usale, whose father-in-law was missing, told Reuters.
Mocoa mayor, Jose Antonio Castro, said his city was "totally isolated" without running water and electricity because the devastation was blocking access routes.
This is the rainy season for many places close to the equator, especially in Colombia, Peru and Ecuador. Heavy rains that maintain some of the dense plush jungles and rain forests in the region, can have disastrous effects over large areas. Our condolences to the bereaved and our hopes to a speedy recovery in Mocoa.