Americas / Colombia

April 7, 2017

A survivor and hero of the Mocoa mudslides and his plea for help

21 year old Gerardo saved lived before the small city of Macoa was engulfed by a thick layer of mud April 1, 2017.

Gerardo Cuao, 21 years old, is a survivor of the mudslides that destroyed Mocoa, Colombia just 6 days ago. For some who may never know his name, Gerardo is also a hero.

He put his own life at risk to save the lives of six others.

One was an elderly woman. He swallowed his own fears, so that the older woman would not have to face hers. Just before the ground gave way and engulfed the city of Mocoa, Gerardo managed to rescue five others and take them to higher ground.

Despite his heroic efforts, the number of people who lost their lives in a town this small are staggering. Over 300 people were wiped away by the mudslides. Over 300 are still missing. Gerardo and the survivors whose lives were spared were fortunate.

Sadly, every day that passes, loved ones find more bodies and nearly 400 injured people need help. The threats of disease grow each day and it’s a race against time.

Malteser International is supporting our local partner-on-the-ground, the Peace and Development Agency (PDP), with their emergency relief measures since the tragedy. With your support, we can provide their regional team with Hygiene Kits and Disease Prevention Kits to prevent diseases such as dengue and Zika, to the survivors.

We are also supporting the Colombian Association of the Order of Malta who is working with the Colombia National Navy, the Civil Air Patrol and Pastoral Social to facilitate the shipment of basic food and emergency medicine to the survivors.

In the wake of this debilitating mudslide, we need your help. Please give today and help us to rebuild lives in the wake of this horrific tragedy.

Support our relief measures today!

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