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Soldiers in Mexico finally reach possible victims in landslide

Bryan Alaspa's picture

The first relief soldiers have finally been able to reach the town of Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec. That town had been the site of a landslide that buried homes and caused the death of at least four people. The town was buried beneath the side of a hill that collapsed due to rain sometime in the early morning. Although it seems that fewer deaths than anticipated are likely there are still hundreds who are not accounted for.

The road to the town had been buried beneath the landslide as well as the town and, as such, the soldiers and tons of digging equipment have been unable to reach the site. Also, a raging river, flooded due to rain, has washed out roads. The weather has been so bad that potential rescuers have been unable to launch helicopters.

Officials from the town who have been speaking to government officials and the media via satellite phones have said that they estimate at least 300 homes have been buried beneath mud and debris. There have also been reports of residents who had managed to get out going back to attempt to dig out their neighbors.

Mexico landslide dragged homes more than 1,300 feed

According to witnesses the landslide crashed into homes and then dragged them as much as 1,300 feet down the hillside. Cars, livestock and other debris has also been dragged down the hill. The incident occurred in the early morning hours when most residents were still sleeping.

Throughout the day the totals and estimates from officials has changed. Initially it was thought hundreds of people could be dead. Then reports came that seven people were known dead but hundred more not accounted for. Then the report came that four were confirmed dead and 12 residents were still missing. The exact count may not be known for some time.

The town has a total population of about 10,000 people. According to the town’s mayor his initial estimate is that 8,000 of those residents have been affected. Also, there are reports that the weather will remain rainy, thus making rescue efforts especially dangerous.

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