25 Guatemalans Killed in Landslide

June 24, 2005

GUATEMALA CITY (EFE) – Partof a rain-soaked hillside came crashingdown on a northern Guatemalan town latelast week, killing at least 25 people, mostof whom were buried alive in their homes,according to government authorities.The landslide, which also injuredsome 35 others, took place late June 15 inthe town of San Antonio Senahu, about370 kilometers north of the capital.An undetermined number of peopleremain missing, but that figure is believedto stand at about 50, and it is feared that thedeath toll will continue to rise as rescuecrews dig through more of the rubble andburied homes.Emergency teams, aided by the army,are carrying out rescue and recovery operations.All in all, hundreds of personnel –aided by special earth-moving machinerythat was dispatched to the site – are onhand to assist in the efforts.Because of the landslide, potablewater, electricity, telecommunications andother local public services have been cutoff. Dozens of families have been relocatedto temporary shelters.President Oscar Berger, who has beenon the scene since the morning of June 16,has offered survivors and the families ofthe victims “all the support that’s necessary.”Continued rains are threatening additionallandslides in the area, authoritiesreport.At least 62,000 people – most of themIndians and campesinos – live in SanAntonio Senahu.

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