The death toll from landslides was raised to 78 on Tuesday as Colombian rescue organizations continue to search the area of Salgar.

Gov. Sergio Fajardo of Antioquia, where the disaster took place, said that despite the continuation of heavy rains, it is unlikely Salgar will suffer another mudslide of Monday’s magnitude that has left 542 victims homeless and another 120 missing.

Survivors have described the deluge of rocks and mud as moving bridges, homes and livestock.

President Juan Manuel Santos, who arrived Monday in Salgar to oversee the coordination of rescue operations, pledged support for the victims of the area located approximately 100 kilometers (63 miles) southwest of the departmental capital of Medellin.

“You know that we are with you, with all of the people of Salgar, we are there in heart helping and from here we are doing whatever we can to help”, he said Tuesday during a televised address.

At approximately 3 a.m. local time Monday, after a particularly heavy downpour, the Liboriana River along with several others in the area, burst their banks and destroyed much of Salgar.

The deceased are being placed in the town’s cemetery building before being transported to Medellin for identification. Of the 78 bodies found, only 19 have been so far identified.

“The search is still underway and the number of those missing could increase, but we will only provide information once the bodies are in the morgue and reported to the town’s authorities”, said Carlos Iván Márquez, director of the Colombian National System for Disaster Risk Management.

Emergency response teams have arranged for the delivery of 15 trucks with drinking water for the affected population after the town’s water system was destroyed. Children have been evacuated from the town. 

Gov. Fajardo has pledged that gas and electricity will be restored to Salgar later Tuesday.

Heavy rains continue to pound the mountainous area and 400 people have been left homeless after the La Isabela River flooded in the town of Urrao, 43 miles south of Salgar.

Emergency services remain on alert. 

Anadolu Agency