Colombian Mayor Carlos Betancourt has confirmed the deaths of almost a dozen people following a mudslide in the South American country.
"Unfortunately the death toll rose to 11," Mayor Betancourt said, adding that children were among the fatalities. The official stated that at least one person remains missing.
Four children are believed to have been among those killed by the mudslide. Some 53 people were rescued and seven homes destroyed, affecting 16 families.
But Betancourt warned that the number of dead and missing people may change since a definitive number of those who are unaccounted for is yet to be confirmed.
"We'll meet in the morning with the (Caldas) governor (Guido Echeverri) in Marquetalia, where the situation will be evaluated, and we'll decide on the measures needed for things to go back to normal," medical professional Felix Ricardo Giraldo said.
The mudslide was caused by heavy rains which inundated parts of Marquetalia.
Firefighters from the Andean town, as well as other neighboring regions, have been dispatched for search and rescue, and are combing the affected region.
Marquetalia is home to about 15,000 people and is located in the eastern area of Caldas, some 135 kilometers from the provincial capital, Manizales.
Flooding and mudslides kill dozens of people each year in Colombia. The country’s National Institute for Environmental Studies said at least eight provinces could be vulnerable to landslides in the coming days.