Desperate search for survivors of Colombia flood; more than 200 dead

Monday, April 3, 2017
Desperate search for survivors of Colombia flood; more than 200 dead
People walk over the debris of a collapsed building in Mocoa, Colombia, Sunday, April 2, 2017. Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos, who has declared Mocoa a disaster area, said that at least 207 were killed but that the death toll was changing "every moment." Authorities said another 200 people, many of them children, were injured and just as many were unaccounted for amid the destruction.

Rescue crews have been desperately digging through the rubble of Mocoa, Colombia, trying to locate anyone who may still be alive after the town was devastated by a wall of water and mud that hit like an avalanche.

At least 210 people have died and 203 have been injured, and the country expects those numbers, according to the National Unit for Management of Disaster Risk in Colombia.

With a lack of resources, authorities say it will be hard to find those still missing.

"It is very difficult because many people don't have the skills they need to let us know they are there," Lina Garcia, coordinator for Colombian Red Cross told ABC News.

The majority of those dead have been identified, and more than half of the 203 injured have been transported to hospitals, according to Colombian officials.

President Juan Manuel Santos spent his second day in Mocoa since the disaster struck, and his administration has declared the area a disaster zone.

The president said that 40 out of the 210 dead were identified as under the age of 18.

As of now there are no people listed as missing, but there may be people unaccounted for whose friends or family have not asked authorities about them.

"We do not, at this moment, officially have anyone missing and those who have missing loved ones should come forward to start processes," Santos said.

Friday night was when the city of 40,000 started experiencing heavy rain, which caused the three surrounding rivers to flood most of the city. People were left digging through the mud to escape the debris from their pummeled homes, and are still looking for loved ones.

The Associated Press Contributed to this report

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