At least 21 killed in Guatemala landslides

July 21st, 2008 - 9:59 am ICT by IANS  

Mexico City, July 21 (Xinhua) At least 21 people were killed in landslides triggered by heavy rain in a rural community in eastern Guatemala, local media reported Monday. According to information reaching here from Guatemala City, landslides brought down tonnes of mud and rocks on a village near La Union city in Zacapa province, burying at least 21 people.

Among the dead were 12 from a same family who were trapped inside their house by the landslide, said La Union Mayor Francisco Salguero.

Rescue teams had not been able to reach the accident site till Sunday evening, Salguero told a local radio station.

Downpours in the previous weeks have led to many landslides, destroying houses, bridges and highways, he said.

Several families have been evacuated to safe places including provisional shelters set up by the government.

The city of La Union, which borders Honduras and is located some 220 km northeast of Guatemala City, has a population of 25,000 and is one of the poorest areas in the Central American country.

Persistent rains since June across large swathe of Guatemala have forced a ‘yellow’ alert in the country, where 78 people have died in various disasters triggered by rains since the beginning of the year.

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