Flood, Mudslide Sweep Away Homes in Colombia, Killing 52

An avalanche of mud and debris roared over an alpine town in western Colombia before dawn Monday, killing at least 52 people in a flash flood and mudslide triggered by heavy rains.
Residents were stirred from bed in the dead of the night by a loud rumble and neighbors' shouts of "The river! The river!" as modestly built homes and bridges plunged into the Libordiana ravine. Survivors barely had enough time to gather their loved ones.
Diego Agudelo told The Associated Press, "It was rocks and tree trunks everywhere," adding that never in 34 years living next to the ravine had he suspected such a tragedy was possible.
The disaster hit around 3 a.m. local time in the town of Salgar, about 60 miles southwest of Medellin.
Dozens of rescuers supported by Black Hawk helicopters evacuated residents near the ravine for fear of another mudslide. A red fire truck could be seen hauling away several bodies, their bare feet dangling from an open trunk.
Authorities said that 52 people were confirmed dead but that the number could rise. Dozens have suffered light injuries and an unknown number of people are still unaccounted for.



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