Rescuers Race to Find Survivors of Colombia Mudslide That Killed Over 230

The Colombian Red Cross said it had deployed 24 people, including psychologists and other specialists, to help find missing people.

“The entire capacity of the state is deployed to support the search and rescue,” President Juan Manuel Santos wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

The military was airlifting a few critically injured patients out of the area, The Associated Press reported.

The Destruction

The destruction was triggered when a surge of water and debris plowed through Mocoa after a sudden downpour that lasted hours and caused nearby rivers to flood while most residents slept.

The water, carrying mud and rubble, leveled many homes in its path and washed away large trucks.

“God bless, I don’t even want to remember this,” Marta Ceballos, 44, a street vendor, told RCN Radio. “Seeing how they, everyone screaming, crying, running, in cars, in motorcycles — and how the mud was enveloping everything, it was just too much.”

A surgeon at a hospital in Mocoa, Dr. Herman Granados, said that doctors were overwhelmed and that blood supplies were running low. Many people were still missing, he said.

“Under the mud, I am sure there are many more,” he said.

According to the Red Cross:

• At least 25 homes were destroyed.

• 17 neighborhoods and 300 families were affected.

• At least 202 people were injured.

• Of the 234 dead, 174 were identified.

• There were 158 reported cases of people missing.

The Aftermath

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