Seventeen people have been killed and five injured in a landslide in the southwestern Colombian province of Cauca, the country's disaster relief agency said.

The landslide, which was caused by heavy rains, occurred early yesterday in a rural area of Rosas municipality, the agency said in a statement.

Yesterday evening an agency spokesman said the death toll had risen from the initial figure of 14.

Five people were hospitalised and eight houses were destroyed.

A portion of the Pan-American Highway was also blocked by the landslide.

President Ivan Duque will visit the area with the housing and transport ministers to meet with relief officials, his office said in a statement.

Landslides are common in mountainous Colombia, especially during rainy season and in areas where precarious informal housing and narrow roadways are constructed on deforested Andean hillsides.