Death toll rises to 273 as aid begins to arrive in disaster-struck Colombia

Colombian officials said 20 tons of supplies arrived on Sunday.

ByABC News
April 3, 2017, 8:58 PM

— -- Colombian authorities scrambled to deliver aid and return basic services like electricity and water to the wreckage of Mocoa, a city of 40,000 people devastated by floodwaters and landslides on Friday.

Authorities rushed to take in critical supplies even as families and rescue workers scrambled through debris in search of victims and survivors.

The death toll rose to 273 on Monday, President Juan Manuel Santos announced at a press briefing this evening, even as some 1,300 search and rescue workers accompanied by trained dogs combed the area.

Me informan que desgraciadamente la cifra de muertos subió a 254. Nuestras oraciones están con ellos y sus familias #MocoaSomosTodos

Juan Manuel Santos (@JuanManSantos) April 3, 2017

At least 43 children were among the victims, Colombia's national disaster agency, NGRC, said.

PHOTO: People line up outside a cemetery to looking for their missing relatives in Mocoa, Colombia, Sunday, April 2, 2017.
People line up outside a cemetery to looking for their missing relatives in Mocoa, Colombia, Sunday, April 2, 2017. Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos, who has declared Mocoa a disaster area, said that at least 207 were killed but that the death toll was changing "every moment." Authorities said another 200 people, many of them children, were injured and just as many were unaccounted for amid the destruction. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

In a speech on Sunday, Santos said that heavy rain unleashed flooding and landslides of "unprecedented" force that swept away "whole neighborhoods" and destroyed the city's main electric plant and water supply.

Officials said electricity has been partly restored to the ravaged city and 20 tons of aid supplies have arrived, but many residents struggled to get clean water, creating a potentially serious health hazard for the survivors.

20 toneladas de elementos de primera necesidad han sido transportadas por @FuerzaAereaColo para los habitantes del Putumayo. #GRCarlosBueno pic.twitter.com/GgArebV2Xj

FuerzaAéreaColombian (@FuerzaAereaCol) April 2, 2017

Santos announced the "immediate" start to work on a new aqueduct to deliver potable water to the city.

PHOTO: Firefighters and rescuers cover with a blanket the body of a woman in Mocoa, Colombia, Sunday, April 2, 2017.
Firefighters and rescuers cover with a blanket the body of a woman in Mocoa, Colombia, Sunday, April 2, 2017. Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos, who has declared Mocoa a disaster area, said that at least 207 were killed but that the death toll was changing "every moment." Authorities said another 200 people, many of them children, were injured and just as many were unaccounted for amid the destruction. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

More than 500 people remained displaced on Sunday evening. At least 200 people sustained injuries in the disaster, which affected at least 300 families, according to officials.

At least 43 children were among the victims, Colombia's national disaster agency, NGRC, said.

In a speech on Sunday, Santos said that heavy rain unleashed flooding and landslides of \"unprecedented\" force that swept away \"whole neighborhoods\" and destroyed the city's main electric plant and water supply.

Officials said electricity has been partly restored to the ravaged city and 20 tons of aid supplies have arrived, but many residents struggled to get clean water, creating a potentially serious health hazard for the survivors.

20 toneladas de elementos de primera necesidad han sido transportadas por @FuerzaAereaColo para los habitantes del Putumayo. #GRCarlosBueno pic.twitter.com/GgArebV2Xj

— FuerzaAéreaColombian (@FuerzaAereaCol) April 2, 2017

Santos announced the \"immediate\" start to work on a new aqueduct to deliver potable water to the city.

More than 500 people remained displaced on Sunday evening. At least 200 people sustained injuries in the disaster, which affected at least 300 families, according to officials.

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