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22 Oct 2018 | 08:51 AM UTC

Colombia: Deadly landslide in Barrancabermeja October 21

Deadly landslide hits Barrancabermeja amid rainy season (October-November); nine people killed

environment
COL

Event

At least nine people were killed in a landslide provoked by heavy rain that occurred in the municipality of Barrancabermeja (Santander department) around 04:00 (local time) on Sunday, October 21. The death toll is expected to rise as search operations continue. The incident occurred in the San Silvestre neighborhood, affecting some 100 families in total.

Context

Flooding and landslides are common in Colombia during the rainy seasons, which typically occur in October-November and April-May. Twelve people were killed in a landslide that struck the town of Marquetalia (Caldas department) around on October 11. Generally speaking, the flood risk is highest along rivers and the landslide risk is highest in hilly or mountainous zones, particularly in poorer areas lacking proper building code standards.

Advice

Individuals in Colombia are advised to avoid areas directly hit by flooding, follow local weather reports and weather alerts issued by the national weather service IDEAM, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities (e.g. potential evacuation orders).

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