Death toll in Colombian landslide reaches 44

November 9, 2011 10:38 pm 

BOGOTA, Nov. 9 — The death toll from a massive landslide in Colombia's central city of Manizales rose to 44 early Tuesday, authorities said.

By early Tuesday, a total of 44 bodies had been recovered from the landslide, which buried 14 houses Saturday after intense rains made the soil carrying the fragile housing units give in and collapse, Juan Manuel Osorio of the Colombian Red Cross said.

Osorio said 16 people had been rescued after being trapped for hours and that the Red Cross units will continue to work "until the last person comes out alive or until we recover the body of the last victim."

"Based on the information we have, we believe that there are still 11 people missing that we have to look for," Osorio told local press.

The search and rescue work was temporarily suspended at around midday Tuesday due to bad weather conditions and the threat of more landslides in the area.

By August, a total of 159 people have died in similar accidents caused by rains this year, a report from the International Red Cross in Colombia said.

Colombia has suffered one of its worst rainy seasons in decades, with some 70 people killed and tens of thousands forced to leave their homes. (PNA/Xinhua)

FFC/ebp

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