By Richard McColl
BOGOTA, Colombia (AA) - Authorities confirmed Thursday that the death toll rose to 19 form landslides caused by torrential rains that have swept across the country .
Seventeen victims In the central city of Manizales when the landslides occurred early Wednesday.
The rains are being caused by the weather pattern known as La Nina that brings heavy rains from the Pacific Ocean.
At least seven people are missing and 23 are injured,
Twenty-five districts are severely affected with an estimated 75 buildings destroyed and 900 people have been left homeless.
Manizales, with 400,000 residents just 180 miles (290 kilometers) west of Bogotá, is no stranger to landslides. The most recent came in 2011 when 48 people were killed.
In the Pacific region of Choco, two victims were killed, two are missing and one injured after a mudslide swept through Bagado, near where the Andagueda River burst its banks.
impassable roads forced President Juan Manuel Santos to change travel plans to visit Manizales on Wedneaday.
“We have to be very careful,” he told the press, “because the rainy season is only just beginning and these rains will continue.”
Rains are forecast to continue across the country until Saturday.