At least 30 dead, 600 missing in Guatemala landslide
GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala – At least 30 people were killed and up to 600 were missing following a landslide that destroyed homes on the outskirts of the Guatemalan capital, officials said late Friday, October 2.
"We have 29 dead people identified, and one still unidentified," said Sergio Cabanas, incident commander for the government's disaster reduction office CONRAD, commenting on Thursday's landslide following heavy rains.
Authorities said that some 600 people are missing, an estimate based on the 125 homes that Thursday's landslide destroyed or damaged after heavy rains.
The landslide occurred late Thursday following heavy rains in the town of Santa Catarina Pinula and small village of El Cambray II, 15 kilometers (9 miles) east of Guatemala City.
Dozens of rescue workers, police, soldiers and neighbors clawed away at the mud and debris searching for survivors all day Friday. Thirty-four people had been pulled from the mud and debris, and families reported receiving text messages from people they believed to still be trapped.
Officials said the impact of the heavy rain was exacerbated by a nearby river, and that municipal authorities had recommended the community relocate last year.
Eight people had already died in previous weather-related events tied to Guatemala's rainy season, which lasts from May to November, according to government data.
Last year's rainy season was tied to 29 deaths and damage to more than 9,000 homes. – Rappler.com