The death toll from this week’s predawn mudslide in rural Colombia has reached 83 people and could continue to rise, local authorities said.
On Wednesday, more than 350 rescue workers were still finding bodies and trying to help survivors from Monday’s disaster in Salgar, a coffee-growing community about 60 miles southwest of Medellin.
Ombudsman Jorge Armando Otálora said at least another 57 municipalities were under “red alert” for similar weather-related catastrophes. He also said local officials should be investigated to see if they ignored warning signs.
“Painful incidents like this one require us to take preventive measures so we can avoid these situations in the future,” he said.
His office said the flooding had left more than 500 homeless and 37 injured.
The natural disaster is one of the deadliest in recent years and was exacerbated because the rising rivers and mudslide struck at night while many were sleeping.