A rural Mexican village has been devastated
after a hillside collapsed, leaving hundreds of people feared dead after the
The small town of Santa
Maria de Tlahuitoltepec is in Mexico’s
district of the Sierra Juarez region. The landslide follows days of rain in the
area, but was not foreseen by officials.
Oaxaca State Governor Ulises Ruiz told the
Mexican Televisa television network that the landslide has buried between 100
and 300 houses in the town and that the death toll could be between 500 to
1,000 people. He also said that rescue workers were having a hard time reaching
the rural village.
Rescue workers have been flown in from Mexico City and other are
attempting to reach the area over land, but the rain and poor weather, as well
as other landslides on roadways is making it difficult for rescue work to be
carried out swiftly.
Severe weather is likely to continue for
the next couple of days, with the authorities calling a state of emergency for Oaxaca state
municipalities affected by the severe rains, a result of Tropical Storm
Rivers in the area have overflowed their
banks, raising concern for flooding as well as future landslides in the remote
area. The terrain in the area is very steep, and most of the houses are build
on the edge of ridges, making landslides more common in severe weather, such as
has been witnessed in the area over the last two weeks.