Colombia mudslide toll reaches 301

Bogota: The death toll from the devastating mudslide in Colombia has increased to 301, according to the authorities.

The National Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences Institute on Wednesday said that of the 301 confirmed dead, 173 have been identified, Efe news reported.

The mudslide in Mocoa city were caused by the overflow of three rivers due to heavy downpour on March 31, which subsequently swept away several neighbourhoods.

Earlier on Wednesday, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos acknowledged that the mudslide also resulted in a large number of people who are still missing.

“This morning, 467 people have reported relatives to be missing. Of those, 153 have been located, 119 of them alive but, unfortunately, 34 of them deceased,” said Santos in a statement in Bogota in which he also announced new measures to deal with the catastrophe.

Although the President provided no concrete figures, the number of complaints suggests that there could be more than 200 people buried under tons of rocks and mud that swept into and over several Mocoa neighbourhoods.

Meanwhile, a Colombian Red Cross official told Efe news that the agency is seeking at least eight missing foreigners, three of them Spanish, about whom no information was received since the night of the tragedy.

On Monday, Santos declared a state of economic, social and ecological emergency to deal with the tragedy.