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In Colombia 92 children among 306 killed in mudslide

The mudslide hit late Friday after heavy rains caused three rivers to flood, sending a sea of mud, boulders and debris crashing into the town.

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People attend the mass funeral of vistims of a mudslide caused by heavy rains, at the cemetery in Mocoa, Putumayo department, Colombia on April 3, 2017 play

People attend the mass funeral of vistims of a mudslide caused by heavy rains, at the cemetery in Mocoa, Putumayo department, Colombia on April 3, 2017

(AFP/File)
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There were 92 children among the 306 people killed in the giant mudslide that slammed into the southern Colombian town of Mocoa last week, the government said Thursday.

The mudslide hit late Friday after heavy rains caused three rivers to flood, sending a sea of mud, boulders and debris crashing into the town.

The death toll of children was given by the country's Disasters Risk Management office.

Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villegas later said the overall death toll had risen to 306 people after five more bodies were found, all of them adults.

More than 300 people remain missing, according to President Juan Manuel Santos.

Mocoa, the capital of the department of Putumayo, was home to 70,000 people, about 45,000 of whom were affected by the disaster, according to the Red Cross.

The hardest-hit areas were impoverished neighborhoods populated with residents uprooted during Colombia's five-decade civil war.

The authorities are investigating whether local and regional officials correctly enforced building codes and planned adequately for natural disasters.

The mayor, the governor and their predecessors are being probed to see whether they bear responsibility for the tragedy, according to Colombian media reports.

The mudslide turned Mocoa into a wasteland of earth, boulders and debris.

Many survivors have had to take the disaster response effort into their own hands, clawing through the mud for their loved ones, digging their graves themselves and defending what belongings they have left from looters.

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