At least 27 people died, including three minors, due to a landslide that hit a bus and other vehicles on a highway in Pueblo Rico, Colombia, last Sunday (4), President Gustavo Petro said in a recent balance sheet. this Monday (5).
In a post on Twitter, the president expressed solidarity with the families of the victims and said that “they will have the full support of the National Government”.
The last balance sheet on Sunday registered three dead and about twenty people buried by the collapse.
A representative of the National Disaster Risk Management Unit (UNGRD) told AFP that four people were injured and at least four others remain buried by the avalanche.
Dozens of swimmers continue to look for passengers on a motorbike and on the public service bus carrying 30 passengers, the same source added.
The bus had left the city of Cali (southwest) early on Sunday and traveled about 270 kilometers before crashing while crossing the Andes mountain range to the west on its way to Quibdó (northwest), according to the Civil Defense. “The area has communication difficulties,” according to the UNGRD.
Since the beginning of August, the country has been in a state of “national disaster” due to the worst rainy season in the last 40 years, according to the government, which left 271 dead and 700,000 affected last year.
The rains are associated with La Niña, a cyclical weather phenomenon produced by the cooling of the Pacific Ocean. Global warming threatens to make it more frequent and deadly, according to scientists.
According to the Colombian Geological Survey, “the municipality of Pueblo Rico is under a very high threat due to mass movement […] associated with the La Niña phenomenon, which has been present since August 2020”.
The landslide “puts this city in mourning, tomorrow it could be in another area, because we really have many areas of instability in the country, and the rainy season is not over”, UNGRD director Javier Pava told the media.