Colombia quake toll rises to 11

May 26th, 2008 - 1:28 pm ICT by admin  

Bogota, May 26 (IANS) The toll in Colombia’s earthquake has risen to 11, even as the rescue work continues, Spain’s EFE news agency has reported. The quake, measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale, rocked the eastern and central regions of the country Saturday, killing and wounding dozens in the aftermath, the report said Sunday.

Some 54 people were injured and around 430 families have been evacuated from the quake-hit towns such as Quetame and Puente Quetame, a civil defence official, Col. Jairo Duvan Pineda, told reporters.

The earthquake also jolted Bogota, damaging seven power plants and a number of buildings.

Authorities said more than 400 houses, a church and several schools were damaged or destroyed in the areas adjoining the epicentre. It also caused landslides and blocked roads.

At least 10 landslides that occurred on the highway between Bogota and the central Meta provincial capital of Villavicencio have buried cars and left six dead, the official said.

The epicentre of the earthquake was in El Calvario town in Meta province which was followed by a series of aftershocks, the National Seismology Network (RSNC), said.

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and Social Protection Minister Diego Palacio Betancourt have visited the affected areas to access the situation and oversee the relief work.

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