Guatemala landslide toll rises to 107

Guatemala City: The toll from a landslide that hit a Guatemalan village has risen to 107, the government said. While rescue teams continue to comb the rubble, their hopes of finding any survivor are rapidly dwindling.

Xinhua quoted a senior official as saying on Sunday that as many as 500 people were likely to have been buried following the landslide. The landslide occurred on Thursday (October 1) night following heavy rains in the village of El Cambray II, near the town of Santa Catarina Pinula, 15 km from here.

A report from the Guatemalan Public Ministry said a temporary morgue, set up near the site, has received 107 bodies, of which, 96 have been identified by family members. According to the country's department of National Disaster Mitigation Coordination (Conred), around 125 homes were buried in the landslide.

While addressing a news conference Sunday, Conred's executive director, Alejandro Maldonado, feared that at least 500 people were likely to have been killed and said the rescue efforts would go on "as long as needed". Guatemalan rescue efforts have been joined by a Mexican team, made up of personnel from the army, navy, and federal police.

Sixteen rescue dogs have also been brought to the scene to help sniff out any survivors. The rescue efforts were hampered by heavy rains Sunday afternoon. The rains are potentially threatening to cause further landslides, which the rescue teams view as a risk.

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