Landslide kills at least 5 as Mexico grapples with heavy flooding

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Landslide kills 5 in flood-stricken Mexico

MEXICO CITY — A landslide buried several cars and killed at least five people in the latest disaster blamed on weeks of heavy rains that have caused havoc in central and southern Mexico, authorities said Tuesday.

Rocks and mud tumbled down a hill onto a highway Monday night in Villa Guerrero, a town south of Mexico City, said local Civil Protection official Maria Enriquez. Five bodies were pulled out, and an unknown number of people were missing.

More than 70 people have died during the rainy season in Mexico, which has been one of the heaviest on record, national Civil Protection Coordinator Director Laura Gurza said at a news conference. Her figures did not include the latest landslide.

Huge swaths of southern Mexico were still under water Tuesday — flooding exacerbated by the passage last week of Hurricane Karl. At least 15 deaths were blamed on the hurricane.

Thousands of people are in shelters, with water reaching rooftops in some towns in the Gulf Coast states of Tabasco and Veracruz.

“This is way above normal. Rains in some zones have reached historic levels,” Gurza said.

Tropical Storm Georgette, meanwhile, smacked into the resort-studded Baja California peninsula, where boat owners scrambled to tie down yachts, restaurant workers hauled in chairs and tables, and tourists hunkered down inside luxury hotels for board games and spa sessions.

The storm kicked up high surf, but Gurza said it was mild and did not pose a major threat.

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