A landslide surprised traffic on a highway in southern Colombia Thursday, killing at least six as the mud and rocks buried several vehicles including buses.
“Until now we have been able to remove five vehicles; two buses, a truck, a car and an ambulance,” Andres Cardozo, the chief of the Florencia fire department told Colombia Reports.
The landslide took place on the border of the Huila and Neiva departments, covering half a mile of the road connecting the city of Neiva and the town of Florencia.
While dozens are feared trapped under the rubble, the fireman said that so far six people were found dead and 10 others were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment.
Cardozo explained he magnitude of the landslide was extraordinary, even for Colombian standards where landslides are common during rainy season.
“They’re talking about 28,000 cubic meters of soil that fell over a stretch of 800 meters. Almost a kilometer of road is covered by the landslide that hit the area,” said the official.
According to radio station Santa Fe, 28 people are missing and feared trapped under the rubble. Cardozo confirmed authorities are assuming to find more bodies as rescue efforts are ongoing.
“There are still vehicles that are trapped in the middle of the landslide and we know there are more dead,” said Cardozo who refused to speculate about the number of cars or people trapped in the rubble.
Location of the landslide
- Derrumbe en vía Neiva-Florencia deja hasta ahora 4 muertos y 28 desaparecidos
- Interview with Andres Cardozo, commander of the Florencia fire department