A 200 meter avalanche of mud and rock buried a father and his son while they slept on Tuesday night in the department of Boyaca, northern Colombia, one of the areas hit hardest by the winter rains, Caracol Radio reported.
The victims were identified as farmer Ricardo Larrota, 65, and his son Nelson, 32, residents of the rural area of the Samaca municipality. Relief agencies are currently working to recover the bodies of the two men.
In response to the disaster, Samaca Mayor Francisco Grijalba said that the winter rains have left him powerless.
“As mayors, we are incapable of responding to emergencies and requests of our residents. We conducted a survey in the valley and we have losses in excess of $5.6 million (COP10 billion) caused by the floods; farmers are bankrupt. Promises will not help the community, we need concrete actions carried out.”
So far this year, five people have lost their lives in Boyaca due to the heavy rains.
Boyaca Governor Jose Rozo Millan and Colombian Finance Minister Juan Carlos Echeverry will fly over flooded areas of the department later Wednesday to inspect the damage caused by the winter rains.
During the trip, they will discuss plans for a multi-million dollar project to build a dam in Boyaca that could prevent as many as 18 municipalities from flooding.
Rozo added that he is still waiting for the allocation of resources to construct houses, hospitals, bridges and a retaining wall in Puerto Boyaca to avoid flooding in 12 area districts.