Colombia landslides: More than 100 die as Putumayo suffers heavy rain

Landslides have killed at least 112 people in south-west Colombia and left many more injured, says President Juan Manuel Santos.
Hours of heavy rains overnight caused rivers to burst their banks, flooding homes with mud in Putumayo province.
An unknown number of people are missing. One army officer said the main local hospital was struggling to cope.
Mr Santos, who has travelled to the area, said troops had been deployed as part of a national emergency response.
The national fire service said at least 190 had been injured.
The region’s governor, Sorrel Aroca, told Colombian media that whole neighbourhoods had been buried. Jose Antonio Castro, mayor of the provincial capital Mocoa, told Caracol radio that the town was “totally isolated”, without electricity and water.
On arriving at the scene, President Santos told reporters, “My heart and the hearts of all Colombians are with the victims of this tragedy.”
An alarm had sounded as the river’s levels rose, leading many people to leave their homes for shelter, and avoiding wider loss of life, Colombia’s El Tiempo newspaper said. The mudslides were caused by the rise of the Mocoa river and three tributaries, a representative of the National Disaster Risk Management Unit told AFP news agency.
Rescue services said 17 neighbourhoods had been affected and Mr Castro said his own house had also been destroyed.
“The mud is up to the roof,” he told Caracol radio. Two bridges were also swept away, he said. The region, bordering Ecuador and Peru, is heavily dependent on agriculture and the petroleum industry.
While landslides and heavy rains are common in the mountainous area, March was Colombia’s rainiest month since 2011, according to the state meteorological agency.
In neighbouring Peru, more than 90 people have died since the start of the year because of unusually heavy rainfall, which also caused landslides and flash floods.

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