At least 34 people have been confirmed dead following landslides in Colombia’s northwestern department of Chocó, the governor’s office said in a statement Saturday.
So far, 17 bodies have been transferred to Medellin for forensic examination, and another 17 are expected to be transported as well, the statement read.
“We are experiencing a very sad weekend for Chocó,” Governor Nubia Carolina Córdoba Curi said. “Our people feel the pain of the victims. I will not rest until I make sure that all Chocoans have information about their relatives.”
The landslides came down on a road between the cities of Quibdó and Medellín, Colombia’s Vice President Francia Marquez said Friday on X, after the area endured 24 hours of heavy rainfall.
Images on social media showed the moment a large piece of land dislodged from a mountain and fell on top of several cars that were moving along the flooded road below, Reuters reported.
Colombia’s National Unit for Disaster Risk Management, Colombian Civil Defense, the National Army, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection and the Choco police department have been mobilized to respond to the incident, Marquez also said.
Colombia has been plagued by deadly mudslides before. In 2017, hundreds of people were killed in a remote southern area of the country, after torrential rains sent a torrent of mud surging through the city of Mocoa.