MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Miami’s Latin American community is reacting to the disaster they’re seeing unfold in Colombia after deadly landslides.
“Economically, they cannot recuperate right away as you know people that financially are in better conditions, so it’s sad you know. It’ll take a lot of time,” said Tania Gaibor who was saddened by the news.
In the southern Colombian city of Mocoa, emergency responders continue clearing debris and searching for survivors.
One man is looking for his daughter Luisa – one of the hundreds still missing.
“Her name is Luisa,” said the man while asking for help in the search.
What’s described as a wall of water consumed the streets of the town Friday night while many slept. Heavy rain caused three rivers to overflow, and the flooding turned into an avalanche of mud. The mudslide knocked over buildings, swept cars away, and tore families apart.
“He couldn’t hold on to her…the current washed her away,” said another survivor who watched as her friend was swept away by the current -despite her husband trying to hold on to her
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos declared Mocoa a disaster zone. The government reports more than a thousand troops are searching for survivors and recovering bodies.
A growing list of the dead, containing the names of many children, is on a wall where loved ones gather and weep as they brace for more rain expected in the area.
At last count, the death toll surpassed 250 people, including 43 children.
CBS4’s Eugene Ramirez spoke with the Colombian Consulate in Coral Gables. They said the best way to help the victims is by providing monetary donations. Click here for more information.