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HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE ARE MISSING AFTER MUDSLIDES HIT GUATEMALA AS TRAPPED VICTIMSS TEXT RELATIVES FROM UNDERNEATH TONES OF MUD AND ROCKS

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HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE ARE MISSING AFTER MUDSLIDES HIT GUATEMALA AS TRAPPED VICTIMSS TEXT RELATIVES FROM UNDERNEATH TONES OF MUD AND ROCKS

Post by Harry on Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:26 am

Hundreds of people are missing after mudslides hit Guatemala as trapped victims text relatives from underneath tonnes of mud and rocks

Huge landslide struck on Thursday evening after heavy rain
Hit suburb of Santa Catarina Pinula, just outside Guatemala City
Hit 125 homes, leaving 26 dead and some 600 missing
Rescuers continue to dig in the hope of finding survivors

By Kieran Corcoran for MailOnline

Published: 06:09 EST, 3 October 2015 | Updated: 08:12 EST, 3 October 2015

Hundreds of people are missing, and 26 dead, after a devastating mudslide hit the capital of Guatemala.

Enormous chunks of hillside, loosened by heavy rain, tumbled on to a suburb of Guatemala city, the most populous settlement in Central America.

Trapped victims who were buried by the sudden disaster late Thursday night have been sending frantic text messages to loved ones from underneath the rubble, as rescuers race to save them.

Mudslide: An enormous portion of this steep hillside collapsed after heavy rain and swept away the settlement below - part of a suburb of Guatemala City
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Mudslide: An enormous portion of this steep hillside collapsed after heavy rain and swept away the settlement below - part of a suburb of Guatemala City
Flattened: Flimsy houses, such as those pictured, were wrecked by tonnes of falling earth, trees and other debris
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Flattened: Flimsy houses, such as those pictured, were wrecked by tonnes of falling earth, trees and other debris
Trapped: Officials said 600 people were missing after the disaster - some of whom were able to send text messages from under the wreckage
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Trapped: Officials said 600 people were missing after the disaster - some of whom were able to send text messages from under the wreckage

Tones of dirt and trees crushed flimsy houses around the Santa Catarina Pinula satellite town, leaving a stark and bare hillside behind.

Officials had confirmed 26 deaths by Saturday morning, and estimate that 600 people are missing.

Alejandro Maldonado, head of Guatemalan disaster agency CONRED, told a news conference that as many as 600 people could still be missing after the disaster, which he said struck 125 homes.

Rescue operations are due to resume at dawn on Saturday. According to the BBC, messages and calls were still coming from those trapped, providing hope for their rescue.
Desperate: A crushed vehicle sits in front of a group of rescuers and volunteers who are frantically searching for those lost in the mudslide
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Desperate: A crushed vehicle sits in front of a group of rescuers and volunteers who are frantically searching for those lost in the mudslide
Casualty: A rescue team carries a covered body of one victim who was killed in the landslide
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Casualty: A rescue team carries a covered body of one victim who was killed in the landslide
More: Firemen and a police officer lift another body from the wreckage. 26 deaths have been confirmed
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More: Firemen and a police officer lift another body from the wreckage. 26 deaths have been confirmed

Survivors of the catastrophe were distraught.

'I feel like I've lost my loved ones because all my neighbors died,' said mother-of-three Melina Hidalgo, 35.

She was washing clothes when there was a loud crash and the lights went out. She found neighboring houses covered in soil and mud. Felled electricity poles were giving off sparks and crying people searched for children, Hidalgo added.

Guatemalan media said rescuers heard voices under collapsed buildings and earth as they struggled to dig people out.

The landslide was one of the worst in recent memory in the impoverished nation, which has been in political turmoil as it prepares to elect a new president.
Search: Dozens of people dig through the tonnes of earth which fell on Santa Catarina Pinula
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Search: Dozens of people dig through the tonnes of earth which fell on Santa Catarina Pinula
Gear: Heavy machinery was deployed in the search for victims after the disaster
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Gear: Heavy machinery was deployed in the search for victims after the disaster
Late-night: Pictured are rescuers working through the night in the hope of finding more victims
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Late-night: Pictured are rescuers working through the night in the hope of finding more victims

Last month, the outgoing president Otto Perez was forced to stand down and was arrested on corruption charges.

Marta Guitz, 37, returned from work to find her house buried by the landslide and was unable to reach Dany, her 17-year-old son, who she believed was inside.

'My husband is there now, shoveling through soil to find our son,' the domestic worker said, her eyes filling with tears.
Bodies: Workers prepare a mudslide victim for burial. 125 households were hit in total
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Bodies: Workers prepare a mudslide victim for burial. 125 households were hit in total
Sombre: Six victims are laid in a row. 26 deaths are confirmed, at the toll is due to rise
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Sombre: Six victims are laid in a row. 26 deaths are confirmed, at the toll is due to rise

Oscar Raul de Leon and his family abandoned their home and he looked for his cousin, but all he found were the remains of the relative's home.

The government said 600 people were helping sift the rubble for survivors while authorities set up a shelter for those left homeless.

In October 2005, heavy rainfall sparked a devastating landslide in Panabaj in southwestern Guatemala, burying the village.

Hundreds of people are believed to have died, and many of the bodies were never recovered.
Read more:

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3258577/Hundreds-people-missing-mudslides-hit-Guatemala-trapped-victims-text-relatives-underneath-tonnes-mud-rocks.html#ixzz3nhQXPvJA
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