BOGOTA - The president of Colombia said Sunday that the number of people killed by the landslides that destroyed several neighborhoods in the city of Mocoa has risen to 254.
The figure given by Juan Manuel Santos marked a significant upward revision from an address he gave just minutes earlier, when he said the death toll was 210 and the number of injured 203.
However, he had warned that those figures were "unfortunately, still preliminary" and would likely rise.
"I am informed that, unfortunately, the death toll has risen to 254," Santos wrote on his Twitter account, adding that he will pray with the victims' families.
Ahead of the president's address, the director of the National Institute of Forensic Medicine and Forensic Science, Carlos Eduardo Valdes, said the death toll stood at 248.
Valdes said the institute has so far performed 108 necropsies, made 45 "full identifications and has delivered 34 bodies" to the families.
In order to speed up the work, Valdes added, another 30 officials will travel on Monday to Mocoa to help complete the identification work as quickly as possible.