Landslide death toll rising: Guatemala Landslide

Published: October 3, 2015

Landslide death toll rising: Guatemala Landslide, Rescuers resumed a desperate search Saturday for several hundred people believed missing in a village landslide on the outskirts of Guatemala’s capital, which left at least 30 dead.

At dawn, dozens of rescue workers, police, soldiers and volunteers with picks and shovels began clawing away at the debris left behind from the Thursday night disaster.

“We are removing debris to enter homes that are still under the mud,” firefighter Jose Hernandez, one of some thirty first responders on the scene Saturday, told AFP.

Nearby, several relatives of the missing checked in at a makeshift morgue set up next to the buried homes.

Families have reported receiving text messages from people they believed to still be trapped, more than 36 hours after the landslide struck the village of El Cambray II, in the municipality of Santa Catarina Pinula.

The affected area is about 15 kilometers (10 miles) east of the capital Guatemala City.

Authorities have said some 600 people are missing, and they expected the death toll to rise in the coming hours as the search resumes.

Their estimate is based on the 125 homes that Thursday’s landslide destroyed or damaged after heavy rain.

“We have 29 dead people identified and one still unidentified,” Sergio Cabanas, incident commander for the government’s disaster reduction office CONRAD, told AFP Friday night.

The victims include at least three children.

Thirty-four people have been pulled out alive from the mud and rubble, while 25 others were injured, CONRAD officials said.


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