More than 250 people are dead and hundreds are still missing after heavy rainfall triggered lethal mudslides and flooding in Colombia’s Putumayo province.
The survivors include 330 people who have been injured, 19 of whom remain in hospital.
A month’s worth of rain fell down in only a single night and created deadly flash floods in Mocoa. Houses and homes were completely destroyed and cars were lost and swam down the floods, away from their owners.
Three of the six rivers surrounding the small town burst their banks, leaving muddy water and tree limbs racing through the streets.
People are wondering why such a disaster occurred and why had Columbia’s Putumayo province not been better prepared. People are starting to question the government on this matter. Blaming them for having allowed them to build homes on areas that were at high risk.
In some parts of Columbia people are more aware of the risks for living in the area, but Marcela Quintero, a researcher with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture said: ‘Unfortunately, in Columbia said “We don’t have a good assessment of risk, or good land-use policies to prohibit people from settling in areas like these.”
These said risks were multiplied as trees were cut down for cattle ranching and other agricultural purposes, removing critical protection against flooding and landslides.
The flooding is one of the worst natural disasters in Colombia. President Juan Manuel Santos has said that he will rebuild Mocoa and make it better than it was before.