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Death toll from Guatemala mudslide rises to 131, 300 missing


The death toll from a massive mudslide outside the Guatemalan capital has climbed to more than 130 people with hundreds more missing.

On Monday, volunteer fire brigade spokesman Julio Sanchez said 131 people were confirmed dead and another 300 were still missing.

“Unfortunately, a new count shows that there are 131 confirmed dead and recovered,” Sanchez said, adding that a number of children, including infants, were among those who died.

The rise in the death toll comes three days after the mudslide took place in El Cambray Village in Santa Catarina Pinula municipality following heavy rainfall.

Rescue operations were suspended late Sunday as rain resumed.

Meanwhile, Mexico has sent a team of rescue workers to help Guatemalan emergency workers with the search operations near the capital, Guatemala City.

Officials say about 125 houses have been damaged or destroyed as a result of the mudslide.

Rescuers and residents search for victims after a landslide at El Cambray Village, in Santa Catarina Pinula municipality, Guatemala, October 2, 2015. (Photo by AFP)


Municipal authorities say they had warned the members of the community to relocate a number of times – most recently last November – but residents said they had nowhere to move to.

The death toll is expected to rise as authorities say the best hope for rescuing victims in such incidents is within 72 hours of the tragedy.

The mudslide was one of the worst in years to hit the Latin American country.

Some 30 people lost their lives and 9,000 homes were damaged in incidents related to heavy rainfall during last year’s rainy season.

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