Of the total fatalities, five are minors, said Farfán, while noting that nine people are still missing therefore rescue operations are still underway.
General Rodolfo Morales, commander of the Army's 13th Brigade, told local media that the order of the National Government is to exhaust all resources to find the missing.
"We have 130 men of the National Army, three platoons with specialized capacity in disaster response by our brigade of engineers, we have that capacity, and we also have an artillery battalion number 3 in charge of security," the commander said.
#20Jul ����⚠️ Colombia: cifra de muertos por una avalancha de barro y agua ocurrida el martes en la localidad de Quetame, en el departamento de Cundinamarca, ascendió a 20, según informó el gobernador de esa región, Nicolás García.#SomosFronteraVivapic.twitter.com/MNhC7o9XVM
The tweet reads, "Colombia: The death toll from a mud and water avalanche that occurred on Tuesday in the town of Quetame, in the department of Cundinamarca, rose to 20, according to the governor of that region, Nicolás García."
The Colombian president, Gustavo Petro, announced some measures to address the emergency, such as subsidies for the victims and the relocation of about 200 people living in this area due to the risk of a new avalanche after the heavy rains of the last hours.
According to the president, "the government has made available a sum of money so that the people who are still there can be re-housed immediately. The danger has not ceased, and it is imperative that the number of victims does not increase."
This type of incident in the region is frequent as a consequence of natural disasters that occur during the rainy season. In this regard, Petro said that the situation "merits a discussion with the population of the Llano and Cundinamarca on basic measures for the stabilization of the region. I propose the creation of a forest reserve zone along the road and its tributaries."
The avalanche registered on Monday night devastated a hamlet in the municipality of Quetame. A vehicular bridge linking the center of Colombia with Villavicencio was also destroyed. This is one of the main corridors for the transport of goods in the country. According to regional authorities, it will remain closed until at least the end of next week.