156 people have been confirmed dead, over 200 have been injured and over 200 more are still missing following a landslide that struck the city of Mocoa in Putumayo Department in Colombia late in the evening of Friday 31 March 2017. The incident occurred after days of heavy rain, which caused the River Mocoa to burst its banks, sending a flood of sediment and water through the town. Landslides are a common problem after severe weather events, as excess pore water pressure can overcome cohesion in soil and sediments, allowing them to flow like liquids. Approximately 90% of all landslides are caused by heavy rainfall.
Putumayo lies within the Amazonia Region of southwest Colombia. It is largely covered by lowland rainforest, with a tropical climate and distinct dry and rainy seasons. The rainy season begins in April, with peak rains in May, these being the two wettest months of the year, with average rainfall over 150 mm in each month.
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