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Landslide in southwestern Colombia kills 17

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Seventeen people have been killed and five injured in a landslide in the southwestern Colombian province of Cauca, the country’s disaster relief agency said on Sunday.

The landslide, which was caused by heavy rains, occurred early on Sunday in a rural area of Rosas municipality, the agency said in a statement.

On Sunday evening an agency spokesman said the death toll had risen from the initial figure of 14.

Five people were hospitalized and eight houses were destroyed. A portion of the Pan-American Highway was also blocked by the landslide.

President Ivan Duque will visit the area on Sunday evening with the housing and transport ministers to meet with relief officials, his office said in a statement.

Landslides are common in mountainous Colombia, especially during rainy season and in areas where precarious informal housing and narrow roadways are constructed on deforested Andean hillsides.

Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb and Luis Jaime Acosta, editing by G Crosse and Susan Thomas

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