29 Sep 2010

Search halted for victims of Colombian landslide

10:28 pm on 29 September 2010

Search and rescue efforts for as many as 30 people buried in a landslide in northwestern Colombia have been suspended.

An estimated 100,000 cubic metres of earth swept on to a highway as passengers were getting off a bus in the town of Giraldo, which leads to the city of Medellin, on Tuesday.

As well as the 20 to 30 people thought to be buried in the mud, six houses were destroyed, AFP reports.

John Rendon, head of disaster relief in Antioquia province, says the efforts of 50 rescue personnel and sniffer dogs have gone unrewarded due to the enormous amount of earth.

The landslide comes in the midst of a deadly rainy season for much of Central and Latin America, including Colombia, where 74 people have been killed in incidents related to heavy rains since the beginning of the year.