The landslide that struck in the night from Thursday to Friday a village near the capital of Guatemala 131 dead, while 300 people were still missing, said a rescue official Sunday. “Unfortunately a recount indicates that we have recovered the bodies of 131 people,” said Julio Sanchez to the press spokesman of the emergency command post at the scene of the disaster. The rescuer has also announced that search operations were temporarily suspended due to rains that batter the area, in the municipality of Santa Catarina Pinula , about fifteen kilometers from the capital. “It is dangerous to work in these conditions,” he stressed, adding that operations will resume Monday morning.
The previous review reported 96 dead and 300 missing. Sunday, relief efforts had mobilized 892 people and 80 vehicles clearing. At 22 am local time (4:00 GMT Monday), the period of 72 hours after which the probability of finding survivors is minimal expired. This disaster is the biggest ever known Guatemala this year, and its balance sheet exceeds the earthquakes of 2012 and 2014 in the southeast of the country, which killed 45 people in total. The gestures of solidarity are not long in coming, and thousands of Guatemalans have given food, drinking water, clothes and other necessities. Mexican President ordered the dispatch of a contingent of 64 rescuers with 16 dogs trained to find survivors.
The funeral of the victims continued on Sunday, including nine members of one family who were buried in a small indigenous village, 200 km west of the capital. The cemetery of Santa Catarina Pinula, prayers and hymns accompanied the funeral of a father and his three children, the eldest of whom was four, noted AFP. On the site of the disaster, the smell of decomposing bodies forced rescue workers to wear masks. In the rainy season, the landslide has surprised the people at night, in an area that had been identified as highly vulnerable because of its location in a valley and near a river.
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