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World News \ Americas

Deaths in Colombia's mudslide tragedy likely to exceed 300

Soldiers evacuating victims from the landslide-hit town of Mocoa in Colombia - EPA

Soldiers evacuating victims from the landslide-hit town of Mocoa in Colombia - EPA

02/04/2017 19:14

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis is praying for the victims of Colombia`s mudslide tragedy,  grieving relatives and also for those involved in the ongoing rescue operation.

James Blears reports, the eventual death toll is likely to exceed 300, with more than 400 injured.

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The City of Mocoa, in Colombia`s South Western Region of Putumayo, has been devastated by a sea of mud and rocks after torrential rain caused a river to burst its banks and mud to drown and suffocate many of its inhabitants. 

The Red Cross, Armed Forces and other specialist services, have been working around the clock since the disaster stuck on Saturday. 

Colombia`s President Juan Manuel Santos who`s visiting the stricken area has declared a State of Emergency.  A massive airlift is underway, as electricity and water are down. Food,  water, medicines and shelter are urgently  needed as life savers and life preservers, for those who` ve lost everything including many loved ones, especially children.

The true scale and extent of the devastation can be seen from the air as whole swathes of cloying mud cover a wide panorama.

His Holiness, who`s been on a trip to Carpi, says he`s praying for the victims, those grieving for their loved ones,  also giving thanks and encouragement to those valiantly involved in the rescue operation.  

02/04/2017 19:14