At least seven killed by two avalanches in northern Colombia

They find alive an eight-month-old baby who had been buried

At least seven people have died in the two avalanches that have occurred in the last hours of the departments of Santander and Caldas, in northern Colombia, as reported by the National Unit for Disaster Risk Management (UNGRD).

On Tuesday afternoon, “a mass movement” caused by heavy rainfall in the municipality of Chinchiná, Caldas, buried two houses in which five people lived. “So far the bodies of four people have been recovered and the work for the rescue of the missing person is maintained,” said UNGRD.

Already at dawn, a second avalanche of rocks and mud surprised the inhabitants of Piedecuesta (Santander), also due to heavy rains, which have caused the overflow of the nearby Manco River.

In the case of Piedecuesta, eleven missing persons were initially reported, including minors, but with the passing of the hours the emergency teams have found six, three dead and three others alive, so seven are still missing.

One of the people rescued alive has been Dylan, a baby of only eight months whom the community leader José Daniel Jaimes has taken from the pile of land. The little boy was dragged by the avalanche with his brothers of 5 and 2 years. Jaimes is confident that “there is every chance to rescue everyone.”

“It’s a divine miracle,” said Maria Liliana Jaimes, the baby’s grandmother. “He was in the mud, other gentlemen arrived and rescued him,” he said, according to Colombian radio station Blu Radio.

Local residents have complained that the emergency teams took to reach Piedecuesta so it was the neighbors themselves who had to start looking for the missing. “We are doing what is possible, what is humanly possible,” said the mayor, Mario José Carvajal.

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