BOGOTA - Forensic authorities in Colombia said on Sunday that some 248 people have been killed so far by landslides caused by three overflowing rivers in the city of Mocoa, the capital of Colombia's southern Putumayo region.
"At the moment we have 248 dead bodies registered," Carlos Eduardo Valdes, director of the National Institute of Forensic Medicine and Forensic Science, told reporters.
The figure is higher than the Colombian government's previous estimate, of 210 deaths and 203 injured.
Valdes said the National Institute of Forensic Medicine and Forensic Science has so far performed 108 necropsies, made 45 "full identifications and has delivered 34 bodies."
Valdes also urged relatives to be "patient," as they are trying not to deliver "wrong" bodies or ones that have not been fully identified.
He added that the identification process involved 52 officials, including doctors, dentists and other forensic officials, along with support from the Colombian police.
Valdes said that on Monday another 30 officials will travel to Mocoa to help complete the identification work in the shortest time possible.