Nearly a dozen people killed in Colombia landslide, 20 missing

At least 11 people are killed and 20 missing in a fresh landslide in the central Colombian city of Manizales.VIDEO: REUTERS
Rescue members recover a body from a house after the mudslides in Manizales, Colombia, April 19, 2017.
Rescue members recover a body from a house after the mudslides in Manizales, Colombia, April 19, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS
Rescue workers survey an area where a landslide destroyed several homes in Manizales, April 19, 2017.
Rescue workers survey an area where a landslide destroyed several homes in Manizales, April 19, 2017.PHOTO: EPA
People look for bodies in a destroyed area after mudslides caused by heavy rains in Manizales, Colombia April 19, 2017.
People look for bodies in a destroyed area after mudslides caused by heavy rains in Manizales, Colombia April 19, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

BOGOTA (REUTERS) - At least 11 people were killed and 20 are missing after a landslide hit several neighbourhoods in Manizales, Colombia, the government said on Wednesday (April 19), the second deadly landslide in the country this month.

Recent heavy rains have endangered residents in dozens of provincial towns, where makeshift construction on the slopes of the Andes makes neighbourhoods particularly susceptible to landslides and flooding.

The landslide in Manizales, capital of Caldas province west of Bogota, followed a similar disaster in Mocoa, Putumayo earlier this month that killed more than 320 people and displaced thousands from their homes.

"The situation in Manizales is very worrying. The toll is sad, there are eleven people dead," Transport Minister Jorge Eduardo Rojas said after meeting with the province's governor and the mayor of the city.

Nine people were injured and at least 57 houses have been affected, the government said. Local media reported that Manizales received a month's average rainfall just overnight.

President Juan Manuel Santos said in a Twitter post that he was trying to get to the scene, but was delayed by continuing bad weather.

Even in a country where rains, a mountainous landscape and informal construction combine to make landslides a common occurrence, the scale of the Mocoa disaster was daunting compared with recent tragedies, including a 2015 landslide that killed nearly 100 people.

Colombia's deadliest landslide, the 1985 Armero disaster, killed more than 20,000.