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Peasants from Rosas, a Colombian town, try to rebuild their lives after an avalanche

Peasants from Rosas, a Colombian town, try to rebuild their lives after an avalanche

Peasants from Rosas, a Colombian town, try to rebuild their lives after an avalanche

In Rosas, in the Colombian department of Cauca, the earth does not stop roaring. With every minute that passes, hopelessness spreads among the inhabitants of five hamlets who saw how a gigantic landslide took everything in its path and continues to scare those who are still fighting to rescue what little they have left.

These are the peasants of Santa Clara, Párraga Viejo, La Soledad, Chontaduro and La Manguita, who on Monday, January 9, had to leave everything to save their lives when the mountain came crashing down on them at three in the morning.

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The landslide did not give them time for anything and destroyed extensive crops of coffee, bananas, cane and corn. In addition, it made a mountain vibrate in which there were more than 64 houses in which about 700 people lived.

“This is something that nobody expected; At first we thought it was going to be a small landslide, but not that from one moment to the next we were going to take the five paths”, lamented Luis Ángel Samudio, one of the victims, in statements to EFE.

OBSTRUCTED ROAD

Inhabitants observe the landslide last Monday, in Rosas, department of Cauca (Colombia). (EFE/ Ernesto Guzmán/)

The enormous avalanche blocked a section of the Pan-American Highway, the main highway in southwestern Colombia, with millions of cubic meters of earth, and since Monday has isolated the department of Nariño from the rest of the country. It was lucky there were no deaths.

Since the day of the avalanche, the inhabitants of Nariño have had to take a detour along a road in poor condition, through the jungle department of Putumayo, to go to the center of the country, a tortuous trip that lengthens the normal journey by about ten hours.

“In this landslide there were no deaths because the neighbors and their early warnings saved us. Since Friday (January 6) they saw how the land began to split in the upper part and began to evacuate. That Monday they called us, yelled at us and went to look for those of us who were below and made us run away “insists Samudio.

General view of the land that covers a vast area after the landslide last Monday, in Rosas, department of Cauca (Colombia).

General view of the land that covers a vast area after the landslide last Monday, in Rosas, department of Cauca (Colombia). (EFE/ Ernesto Guzmán/)

Before the tragedy, the five villages were projected to be the most productive in the region, since they also made desserts with the milk obtained from cattle and chontaduros that provided the palms that ended up buried by mud and stones.

To Ovidio Papamija, the nightmare was no different, since he was only left with the clothes he was wearing at the time of the slide. The fruit of his labor for years was left under the avalanche.

Two people observe a road blocked after the landslide last Monday, in Rosas, department of Cauca (Colombia).

Two people observe a road blocked after the landslide last Monday, in Rosas, department of Cauca (Colombia). (EFE/ Ernesto Guzmán/)

“This seemed like the end of the world, the earth trembled and the mountain made a deafening scandal; I lost everything, but I thank God because nobody from my family was among my losses. Two calves left during the avalanche and the rest of the animals were trapped.” Papamija pointed out.

Colombian President Gustavo Petro traveled to the area on Thursday to speak with those affected by this avalanche which, although it did not cause fatalities, leaves an uncertain future for the inhabitants of this agricultural and mountainous region in the southwest of the country.

Two people observe a road blocked after the landslide last Monday, in Rosas, department of Cauca (Colombia).

Two people observe a road blocked after the landslide last Monday, in Rosas, department of Cauca (Colombia). (EFE/ Ernesto Guzmán/)

Source: Elcomercio

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