Los Angeles 9/28/2010 10:23:54 PM
News / Weather

Death Toll Rises In Mexican Landslides

A rural Mexican village has been devastated after a hillside collapsed, leaving hundreds of people feared dead after the landslide.

The small town of Santa Maria de Tlahuitoltepec is in Mexico’s Oaxaca district of the Sierra Juarez region. The landslide follows days of rain in the area, but was not foreseen by officials.

Oaxaca State Governor Ulises Ruiz told the Mexican Televisa television network that the landslide has buried between 100 and 300 houses in the town and that the death toll could be between 500 to 1,000 people. He also said that rescue workers were having a hard time reaching the rural village.

Rescue workers have been flown in from Mexico City and other are attempting to reach the area over land, but the rain and poor weather, as well as other landslides on roadways is making it difficult for rescue work to be carried out swiftly.

Severe weather is likely to continue for the next couple of days, with the authorities calling a state of emergency for Oaxaca state municipalities affected by the severe rains, a result of Tropical Storm Matthew.

Rivers in the area have overflowed their banks, raising concern for flooding as well as future landslides in the remote area. The terrain in the area is very steep, and most of the houses are build on the edge of ridges, making landslides more common in severe weather, such as has been witnessed in the area over the last two weeks.