Photos Show Horrific Devastation Caused By Landslide In Colombia

Sameera Ehteram
Most residents were sleeping as the pre-dawn landslide tore through the northwestern town of Salgar.

Colombia landslide kills dozens

A landslide in Colombia sent mud and water crashing onto homes, killing more than 50 people and injuring dozens.

"The earth slid into the course of the La Liboriana ravine, then the dammed water caused an avalanche which destroyed everything in its path," regional police commander Jose Angel Mendoza said.

Photographs released by the country's air force and television news footage showed homes and streets covered in mud and debris in the town in a mountainous area close to the Colombian Andes.

Residents were shown digging through rubble with sticks and their hands, looking for survivors.

The rush of mud and water "tore down everything in its path," Salgar Mayor Olga Osorio said. The small town of Santa Margarita was practically "wiped off the map," she added.

Here are some glimpses of the disaster:

Dozens dead in massive Colombia landslide

More than 50 dead, dozens injured in Colombia landslide



A photo posted by daniel carraxquilla (@danielcarraxquilla) on


Colombia landslide kills dozens in Antioquia province

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Colombia landslide 2015


Tragedia en #Salgar, Antioquia.

A video posted by @willyaradio on

"People that you knew, children, young people, whole families lost their homes. We're on alert because there are fears there could be another landslide," said a local resident Maria Gutierrez.

"It almost gave me a heartache. We saw big waves and people and pigs going down in the water," she added.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos flew over the affected area to survey the damage and met with local authorities. He Santos declared a public emergency, freeing up relief funds for victims.

"No one can bring the deceased back to you, that is something we deeply regret. But we have to get through this disaster and look to the future with bravery and strength," he said.

Santos announced $7,000 for each affected family and promised infrastructure improvements to try to prevent such disasters in the future.

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