Death toll rises to 21 in Guatemala landslides

15:55, September 05, 2010      

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The number of people killed when two landslides hit western Guatemala Saturday has risen to 21, President Alvaro Colom said, quoted by Guatemalan media.

Earlier reports said 14 people died, 13 others were injured and another three were missing after days of heavy rains triggered two landslides in the west of the country.

Ten people were killed instantly and 15 others injured when a bus they were aboard was pounded by falling rocks and mud on a highway in Chimaltenango department, the reports said.

Two of the injured died in a nearby hospital and many more victims were feared still buried.

In Quetzaltenango department, at least four people lost their lives after their house was buried in a landslide, according to the reports.

Large part of Guatemala has been hit by heavy rains since February, which has led to the swelling of many rivers. An emergency state has been declared in many departments and thousands of people have been evacuated from lowlying areas.



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