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1,000 killed in Mexico landslide
OAXACA (Mexico), Sept 29 (Agencies):
Published on 29 Sep. 2010 10:49 PM IST
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A landslide tore through a town yesterday killing 1,000 people.
A 200-metre-wide strip of mud and debris crashed into buildings and flattened homes after heavy rain devastated south Mexico.
Donato Vargas, a local official, said: “We were sleeping and all I heard was a noise and when I left the house I saw the hill had fallen.
“It has been difficult informing authorities because the roads are very bad and there isn’t a good signal for our phone.”
Attempts by rescuers to reach Santa Maria de Tlahuitoltepec, in Oaxaca, have been hampered by bad weather. Army, navy and federal police had to be flown into the town last night as smaller landslides and rain blocked roads.
Oaxaca state governor Ulises Ruiz said 600 people may have been killed but other sources believe up to 1,000 may have died.
He said: “There has been lots of rain, rivers have overflowed and we’re having a hard time reaching the area because there are landslides on the roads.”
Officials confirmed eight bodies had been found and 100 were missing but these numbers are expected to rise sharply as the rescue operation swings into action. Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon said soldiers and marines had been sent in.
“There has been an unfortunate landslide in Oaxaca,” he said in a Twitter message. “Dozens of people have disappeared.
Federal and state help is on its way but it is difficult to get there.”
Heavy rains have fallen on Central America for days as two storm systems move across the Western Caribbean. Parts of Mexico are enduring their worst rainy season, which has triggered heavy flooding and forced thousands of people from their homes in vulnerable parts of the country.
At least 15 deaths in Mexico were blamed on Hurricane Karl.

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