Bogota: At least 33 people died from a landslide that buried vehicles along a highway in Colombia, Interior Minister Alfonso Prada said.
The landslide that occurred on Sunday buried a bus carrying passengers from Cali to Condoto, along with a car and a motorcycle on the Pereira-Quibdó highway, in the central-western department of Risaralda, the Xinhua news agency reports.
“We have identified 33 deceased people, including three minors. We have rescued nine people, four of them are currently in critical condition,” Prada said Monday.
Personnel from Colombia’s Risk Management Unit and the Transportation Ministry’s Transit and Transport Directorate, as well as the police department and the army, rushed to the rescue, he said.
Following the landslide, authorities plan to declare a nationwide high alert to prepare for weather-related disasters amid a cold snap that is expected to continue for several more months, Prada said.
President Gustavo Petro ordered the installation of a Unified National Command Post in the capital Bogotá by Tuesday at the latest to determine the state of the roads in adverse weather conditions, he said.
Risaralda Governor Víctor Manuel Tamayo told reporters that the road where the accident occurred is in poor condition, complicating efforts to find survivors and recover the bodies of the victims.