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Rescue Continues after Fatal Mudslide in Mocoa, Colombia

Mocoa, April 3 (RHC-Xinhua), -- Rescue work is on going in Colombia's southwest city of Mocoa, in the department of Putumayo, following a tragic mudslide that devastated 17 neighborhoods and killed 207.

Efforts to locate the scores of people still missing are continuing, said Carlos Ivan Marquez, director of the National Disaster Risk Management Unit (UNGRD).

To bolster the rescue operations, the government has mobilized police force and army forces, he said. President Juan Manuel Santos declared an emergency to speed up aid operations.

President Santos returned to Mocoa on Sunday to head the recovery efforts, accompanied by his wife Maria Clemencia Rodriguez, who has been put in charge of attending to local children separated from their parents.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) has offered to help rebuild Putumayo.

"Speaking with the rebels, they want to go there, to Mocoa, to work and help in the reconstruction," Farc leader Ivan Marquez was quoted by El Colombiano newspaper as saying. "We are very sad about this tragedy. Our solidarity and condolences go to the people of Mocoa and Putumayo," he added.

Edited by Pavel Jacomino
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