Colombian river overflows, triggering flood and killing 24

Santos said he planned to visit the area.

An alarm reportedly went off to alert residents but wasn't audible throughout the city.

The Red Cross reports that 127 people are dead, 220 missing and 400 injured when a water avalanche surged through a small city in Colombia. "That means 30 percent of monthly rainfall fell last night, which precipitated a sudden rise of several rivers", he said.

The incident happened around midnight in Mocoa, a city of 350,000 located near Colombia's border with Ecuador.

A mudslide killed at least 93 people and injured many others late Friday night in Colombia's Putumayo province, according to office of President Juan Manuel Santos.

Scores of people were killed in the landslide caused by the flood of three rivers that devastated several districts of the Colombian city.

President Juan Manuel Santos declared a state of emergency and warned the death toll could rise.

"We have sent a team of 150 people to make our response effective and machinery began work immediately", Carlos Ivan Marquez, head of the disaster unit, said.

The force of the muddy water destroyed at least two bridges, ripped trees from their roots and lifted cars, carrying them downstream.

Witnesses described feeling buildings vibrate and said there was little time to seek refuge.

Mocoa, a town of 40,000 people, was left without power or running water.

"Between 14 and 16 people have been reported dead, among them various minors and some adults who are in the process of being identified".

"There are lots of people in the streets, lots of people displaced and many houses have collapsed", retired Mocoa resident Hernando Rodriguez, 69, said by telephone.

  • Carolyn Briggs