Colombia landslide: Authorities say 154 people have died in heavy rains in Putumayo

Heavy rains sent mud and debris crashing into houses overnight 

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The Independent US

Landslides have killed at least 154 people in Colombia and injured at least 400 others, police have said.

Heavy rains sent mud and debris crashing into houses overnight in the south-western province of Putumayo. 

Two bridges have been destroyed and neighbourhoods have been “erased” in the provincial capital of Mocoa. 

Carlos Ivan, the head of the disaster response unit who have been sent to the area, said they will give the landslide “all necessary attention”.

“We have sent a team of 150 people to make our response effective and machinery began work immediately," he said in a statement. 

Mocoa Mayor Jose Antonio Castro said people had been warned about the avalanche. 

“It’s a big area. A big portion of the many houses were just taken by the avalanche but above all the people were warned with enough time and they were able to get out but houses in 17 neighbourhoods have basically been erased,” he said.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has said he is on his way to the area and he posted on Twitter to say he was praying for the victims.