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Latino Daily News

Saturday October 6, 2012

13 People Missing Since Mudslide Attacks Southern Colombia

13 People Missing Since Mudslide Attacks Southern Colombia

Photo: Mudslide in Colombia

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At least 13 people went missing Saturday and five were injured in a mudslide that buried a hamlet in the southwestern Colombian province of Huila, emergency management services in Bogota said.

The mudslide wiped out the hamlet of Villas del Prado, the spokeswoman for the National Risk Assessment Unit, or UNGRD, Sandra Calvo, told Efe.

The official said that all of the hamlet’s 13 houses were destroyed by the mudslide, which occurred around 6:00 a.m. local time (1100 GMT) and was caused by the cresting and overflowing of the La Chorrera stream.

“The latest report we have says that 13 people are missing, five are injured and 13 houses have been obliterated,” said the spokeswoman for UNGRD, the organization that coordinates emergency management services and rescue operations from Bogota.

Working at the scene of the disaster were firefighters from Isnos and the neighboring town of Pitalito, Calvo said.

The place where the mudslide occurred is located some 150 kilometers (93 miles) south of Neiva, the capital of Huila, and near the Magdalena River, the nation’s largest waterway.

The Villas del Prado emergency is the first of Colombia’s second annual rainy season, which lasts from October through December.