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Mudslides Kill 19 in Colombia

Colombian mudslides kill 19

CNN.com, March 21, 2003

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) -- At least 19 people were killed after torrential rains triggered mudslides in a mountainous region of western Colombia and flooding in an eastern border city, authorities said.

Heavy rains that began late Tuesday continued to pour down Wednesday in the coffee-growing state of Caldas.

At least 11 people were killed in mountainside city of Manizales, 165 kilometers (105 miles) northwest of Bogota.

In the town of Villamaria, near Manizales, four other people were killed when mudslides crushed their homes, said Eduardo Jose Gonzalez, director of the national disaster prevention office.

More than 20 people were still missing, and dozens of homes were destroyed, Gonzalez said.

On Colombia's eastern border, four people drowned Wednesday after being swept away by raging waters in a canal during a rain storm in Cucuta.

The people were living under bridges built over the canal, authorities said Thursday.