BOGOTA, Colombia -- Rescue teams were trying Thursday to locate five people who were believed to have been trapped in a mudslide in northeastern Colombia.
The avalanche of mud and rock happened Wednesday in a mountainous area of the Santander province, regional authorities said. The mudslide affected the hamlet of La Ceiba, between the municipalities of Rionegro and El Playon, and it buried 20 people, 15 of whom were rescued from the rubble with only slight wounds.
Santander Police Commander Mario Pedroza said three children and two adults were still missing.
The Rev. Alex Perez, parish priest of El Playon, said recent rains have caused around 30 mudslides in the area over the past week, causing damage to the property of 700 people. Perez said three bodies were found Wednesday of people who were buried in a landslide last week.
A mudslide claimed 82 lives on December 5 in a mountainous area of Bello, in the northwestern province of Antioquia.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos declared a state of emergency to deal with the devastating rains of recent weeks.
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