A Baby’s Unlikely Survival of Colombian Mudslide

Being that it is now the rainy season in the Southern Hemisphere, many countries are beginning to have to deal with the consequences. In much of South America, this time of year means rains that seem to never let up and carry on for days at a time. In Colombia, that is exactly what has been happening over the past few days, and the torrential downpours have resulted in multiple mudslides and dangerous flash floods, some of which that have proven to be fatal.

Just today, we received word of a catastrophic mudslide that is said to have claimed the lives of more than 75 people. Near the mountain town of Salgar, residents and rescue teams were astonished to find that the mudslide which claimed more than 70 lives offered up but one survivor; an 11-month old baby. Perhaps even more unbelievable is the fact that the baby had 15 relatives, all of which were older, die in the mudslide that spared it.

Post-Mudslide Frenzy Yields Unlikely Survivor

Though the baby, who has not been identified, was found unconscious in the slop that appeared in the wake of the mudslide, it was breathing when doctors first went in for an examination. The baby was likely forced into unconsciousness due to it being found face-down in the thick mud. Astonishingly, it is equally amazing that the fact that the baby was found with its face buried in mud did not end its life. Mudslides are no joke and claim thousands of lives every year.

In the Southern Hemisphere, and most other parts of the world that are prone to mudslides, the fact that citizens are accustomed to these disasters does little in the way of helping them be prepared for them. Almost always, mudslides strike with little to no warning and can very quickly and easily cover anything and everything in their path. With the consistency of wet concrete, mudslides are much more dangerous than they appear as once you are stuck it is often quite difficult to free yourself.

The story of this baby’s survival is a remarkable one, but also a tragic one seeing as most of the young child’s family fell victim to the disaster. This, however, is just one more perfect example of bright spots coming from an otherwise tragic story. We are all hoping that this child has some relatives able to provide care, but I am confident that this child will be kept safe and out of harm’s way for the foreseeable future.