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RAINS TRIGGER AVALANCHE IN COLOMBIA; AT LEAST 7 DIE

Heavy rains caused an avalanche of earth in southern Colombia Saturday, killing at least seven people and burying an ambulance that was carrying 10 others, officials said.

Fifteen people were still missing, and helicopters were on the way to rescue 200 survivors who were stranded, the Narino state governor, Jesus Rosero, said.

The avalanche destroyed 40 houses in El Guabo, a small town near the border with Ecuador.

"An ambulance passing through the area with 10 people inside was covered by the avalanche," Rosero said. "Of those, four were saved, and six others are missing, including three children."

More than 100 people have died since August as a result of the rains -- the heaviest in the South American country in 30 years. Forecasters said more rain was expected.

Torrential rains in neighboring Venezuela 10 days ago triggered massive floods and mudslides that have killed between 5,000 and 30,000 people, according to official estimates.

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