September 7, 2010 in Nation/World

Guatemala death toll after landslides now at 45

Associated Press

GUATEMALA CITY – Searchers on Monday pulled five more bodies from a mud-covered highway where back-to-back landslides buried bus passengers and people trying to save them. The deaths raised the toll from rain-fueled mudslides in Guatemala to 45.

Authorities said 25 people are confirmed dead and at least 15 are believed to be still buried beneath the debris in the village of Nahuala, where a first mudslide buried a bus and other vehicles, then a second one turned would-be rescuers into victims.

At least 20 others died over the weekend elsewhere as a tropical depression saturated the ground and set off more than a dozen landslides around the country, according to the national disaster agency. The most recent slide, on a highway in northern Guatemala, killed one person and injured 26 on Sunday.

In southern Guatemala, meanwhile, rescue workers used motorboats to reach about 100 families cut off by massive flooding in the town of Santa Ana Mixtan. Some residents sat on their roofs waiting to be evacuated, while others tried to drag bundles of their belongings through neck-deep water.

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