"At the moment we are carrying out a census to be able to establish if there are more missing persons," he said, adding that 35 people were evacuated from the village of Naranjal, where the tragedy occurred this morning.
"We have many missing persons, among them several minors," Cundinamarca Governor Nicolas Garcia told reporters, hinting that the number of those affected by the avalanche could increase markedly.
Farfan also indicated that the avalanche was caused by the overflow of several streams due to the downpours that fell on Monday night in Quetame, a municipality located 62 kilometers southeast of Bogota.
Cámaras de seguridad capturaron el momento exacto de la avalancha que dejó varios muertos y desaparecidos en Quetame, Cundinamarca. pic.twitter.com/bC61jhqD2p
The tweet reads, "Security cameras captured the exact moment in which the avalanche occurred, leaving several dead and missing in Quetame, Cundinamarca."
"The death that reaches Quetame, Cundinamarca, demonstrates the urgent need to order the territory around the water and free its spaces," tweeted Colombian President Gustavo Petro, who is in Brussels participating in the summit of the European Union and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
Besides dragging several houses and a bridge, the avalanche caused the closure of the highway that goes from Bogota to Villavicencio, capital of the Meta department and one of the country's agricultural pantries.
The Colombian Air Force (FAC) indicated that it will send a reconnaissance plane to the area to try to establish from the air the magnitude of what happened.