Landslide in Columbia

Gen Wittrock, Editor

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Colombian president, Juan Manuel Santos, has declared a state of emergency after an avalanche of mud and water wreaked havoc through a small Colombian town on Friday, March 31st. The price: 193 lives lost.

The last weekend of March brought tremendous amounts of rain to the small town of Mocoa which triggered massive landslides and flooding that destroyed most parts of the town. Rescue team members of the Colombian Red Cross have been working diligently to heal the some hundreds injured and recover the many who are still missing. However, providing international and domestic aid to the suffering population is hard since the town does not have an airport and it’s main road has essentially been washed out. The town is struggling to provide clean water for the citizens and looting is common on the streets.

The town of Mocoa consists of about 600,000 people with little infrastructure. The town is surrounded by tributaries which flood frequently, often bringing mass amounts of mud and water into the town. Roughly 17 neighborhoods were destroyed in this tragedy. The president of the town has said that he blames this tragedy on climate change; however, the rapid deforestation of the area is a more plausible explanation for the mudslides.

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