The number of fatalities by a gigantic landslide that buried part of a neighborhood built on the side of a city in central Colombia amounted to 38, while five children died swept away by the rising of a river, the government said Monday .
The landslide that buried the neighborhood Saturday Cervantes sector of the city of Manizales, the capital of the department of Caldas in the coffee region of central Colombia, apparently caused by rain and water seepage in the upper mountain.
"The toll so far is 38 people dead, the search efforts continue with the removal of land in the area," said an official of the National System for Disaster Prevention and Response.
Red Cross first-aid and civil defense, supported by bulldozers and dogs, working in the rescue of 20 people reported missing under tons of earth and mud.
The tragedy is the worst since December 2010, when a landslide buried a neighborhood in the municipality of Bello, Antioquia Department, killing 82 people.
In addition, five children drowned by the rising of the river Melendez, located on the outskirts of the city of Cali, the capital of the department of Valle, in the southwest.
Relief agencies said a group of people were bathing in the river on Sunday afternoon, when a sudden rising caused the emergency.
The current rainy season in Colombia recorded so far left some 75 people dead and thousands homeless, according to government statistics.