Death toll rises to 254 as aid begins to arrive in disaster-struck Colombia

ABC NewsColombian 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 254 on Sunday, President Juan Manuel Santos announced on his Twitter account, even as some 1,300 search and rescue workers accompanied by trained dogs combed the area.

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. …

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