BOGOTA – The death toll from flooding and mudslides in the southern Colombian city of Mocoa climbed to 314 on Saturday with 106 people missing, local authorities said on a day when Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos visited the disaster area to see how the humanitarian and infrastructure work was going.
“The balance is 315 people dead, all with their autopsies completed. There have been 249 bodies handed over and 29 buried. The number of missing, formerly 173, has diminished to 106,” the president said.
Humanitarian endeavors have allowed 4,668 affected families to be cared for, with 82 tons of food and 70 tons of water.
After touring the affected areas of the city, Santos said that in health matters the situation is “stable,” that this Saturday will be the sixth day of vaccination and that up to now 18,470 people have been immunized.
The president noted the fact that “children will be back in school on the Monday after Holy Week,” and said that of the “14 schools operating in Mocoa, seven were damaged. Of those, four can be repaired and three will have to be completely rebuilt.”
As for basic services, the head of state said the capital of Putumayo province will have 100 percent of its drinking water back within a month.
He also said that “before April 20, we’re signing a contract for the construction of a new aqueduct.”
The natural disaster was triggered by torrential rains on March 31 that caused the Mocoa, Sangoyaco and Mulatos rivers to burst their banks and devastate several neighborhoods.