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Over 250 Dead in Colombia Landslide

Over 250 Dead in Colombia LandslideOver 250 Dead in Colombia Landslide

More than 250 have been killed in southwest Colombia after landslide buried homes while residents were asleep.

Four hundred people have been injured and 200 are still missing after the disaster in the city of Mocoa in the early hours of Saturday morning, iTV reported.

The army said in a statement at least 254 people have died, but the number could still rise.

The race is on to reach survivors and more than 1,100 soldiers and police officers were called in to help dig people out in 17 affected neighborhoods.

The incident was triggered by intense rains around midnight and muddy water and debris quickly surged through the city's streets.

Homes were toppled, trees ripped from their roots and cars and trucks carried downstream. President Juan Manuel Santos arrived in the city on Saturday and declared a state of emergency. He also warned the death toll could rise.

The Red Cross planned to set up a special unit in Mocoa on Saturday to help relatives search for their loved ones.

"In this moment, it's chaos," said Oscar Forero, a spokesman with the Colombian Red Cross. "There are many people missing."

Mocao is a city in the province of Putumayo near Colombia's border with Ecuador and has a population of 40,000.

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