Flash flood kills 58 in Colombia

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Colombia: An avalanche of mud and debris roared over an alpine town in western Colombia before dawn Monday, killing at least 58 people in a flash flood and mudslide triggered by heavy rains.

Residents were stirred from bed in the dead of the night by a loud rumble and neighbours’ shouts of “The river! The river!” as modestly built homes and bridges plunged into the Libordiana ravine. Survivors barely had enough time to gather their loved ones.

“It was rocks and tree trunks everywhere,” Diego Agudelo told The Associated Press, adding that never in 34 years living next to the ravine had he suspected such a tragedy was possible.

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The disaster hit around 3 a.m. local time in the town of Salgar, about 100 kilometres southwest of Medellin.
Rescuers supported by police helicopters were evacuating residents near the ravine for fear of another mudslide.