Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos called on Colombians to heed evacuation warnings after 10 people were killed Friday due to landslides and flooding.
“I lament the situation of Caldas and Santa Marta and we are with their families in the difficult times. We are doing everything we can, but please heed the calls of the authorities when there is an evacuation alert,” said Santos.
Nine people were killed Friday in a landslide in the central department of Caldas while one person was killed in Santa Marta after the Guachaca River was flooded due to heavy rainfall.
The president hoped that the weather phenomenon La Niña would leave the country in the coming days to improve care for those affected by the rains.
“Winter should begin to diminish in the coming days, and the truth is that it has affected us very seriously,” said Santos.
Last month, the head of state stressed the importance of following evacuation alerts after a landslide killed over 40 people in Manizales. “Tell all the citizens of Colombia that when a red alert is decreed, it is very important, and you have to evacuate,” he said in a press release.