Residents in the Cervantes neighborhood of Manizales claim that the Colombian government neglected to prevent the tragic landslides that killed at least 48 people, radio station Radio Caracol reported Wednesday.
The Office of Risk Management of the Ministry of the Interior has announced that it will appoint a technical committee that will evaluate the Manizales case to try to determine whether the authorities and emergency agencies were at fault.
The committee will review testimonies collected from locals claiming that water company Aguas de Manizales did not listen to their warnings.
According to authorities, the committee will also seek to clarify whether a “red alert” had been in effect in that particular neighborhood since October 30, as declared by President Juan Manuel Santos.
Manizales ombudsman, Juan Carlos Perez, announced, “On Thursday, November 3, according to those interviewed, there was communication with Aguas de Manizales, telling them that there was a platform detachment with considerable magnitude,” which led to a water-feeding tube explosion that experts claim caused the landslide.
However, the mayor of Manizales, Juan Manuel Llano, said that they had not received any warnings from experts nor local inhabitants prior to the disaster.
Aguas de Manizales has denied responsibility for the tragedy while Perez says that it belonged to the Department of Public Works.