A landslide has caused at least 33 deaths and more than 20 injuries this Friday in northwest Colombia, according to local authorities.

The road that connects the city of Medellín with Quibdó, in the department of Chocó, has been temporarily closed after being damaged by several landslides, an official from the department’s government told AFP.

On the same road, near the municipality of Carmen de Atrato, “many people” got out of their vehicles to “take refuge in a house that “unfortunately” was buried by a landslide.

Jaime Herrera had assured local Caracol television that some people are “seriously injured”, while others are still trapped underground.

Images published on social networks and television channels show cars destroyed by mud and landslides.

The department of Chocó, which borders the Pacific Ocean and is home to a vast rainforest, has been hit by heavy rains in the last 24 hours.

At a time when Colombia is going through a drought, the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (IDEAM) had previously warned of the risk of heavy rains in several coastal departments of the Pacific and the Amazon.