Hundreds of people may be killed and up to 1,000 are feared trapped under a mudslide in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, in the southern portion of the country.
Eight were confirmed dead by 3 p.m. Eastern time.
Reports state that seven of the eight killed died in the community of Santa Maria Tlahuitolpetec. Ulises Ruiz, governor of Oaxaca, said that at least another 1,000 could be buried there. The state’s Civil Protection operations coordinator, Luis Marin Castillejos, said that a slide in the community of Villa Hidalgo killed one person.
The mudslides occurred on Tuesday morning. After the incident Ruiz said the landslide buried 100 to 300 houses in Santa Maria de Tlahuitoltepec. Local authorities corroborated his estimates. Donato Vargas, an official of the town said 5to the Associated Press that 500 people were missing and that 300 homes were buried.
Ruiz said the landslide followed days of rain in the Sierra de Juarez region. The Mexican army and state officials have been called for help. Rescuers from the navy, army and federal police will fly in from Mexico City with rescue dogs and heavy machinery to reach the town that is 50 miles east of Oaxaca city and 130 miles from Mexico City.
Weeks of heavy rains have affected southern Mexico and parts of Central America. Hurricane Karl and Tropical Storm Matthew left areas in Southern Mexico still under water with at least 15 people dead.
Honduran authorities said three adults and a child drowned in rivers and creeks swollen by Tropical Storm Matthew. The National Emergencies Commission said Tuesday that three adults died in the town of El Oregano and a 10-year-old child in the Caribbean coast town of La Lima.