Guatemalan President Álvaro Colom.
Guatemala, Latin America: Week in Review

Mudslides In Guatemala Kill Dozens; Colom Declares “National Tragedy”

September 6, 2010 By Staff

Guatemalan President Álvaro Colom.

Today in Latin America

Top StoryMudslides caused by torrential rains have killed dozens of people in Guatemala, with President Álvaro Colom calling it a “national tragedy.”

At least 37 people have been killed and rescue crews are digging through the mud in the hopes of finding nearly two dozen people missing. The people missing were part of a crowd trying to dig out a bus from deep mud on Sunday.

“A wall of earth fell on a bus and around 100 local people organized themselves to dig out the victims,” said fire department spokesman Sergio Vásquez, according to The New York Times. “Then another landslide came along and buried them.”

>Sunday’s incident follows another mudlside that happened this weekend as people attempted to rescue another buried bus. In the earlier incident 12 people died.

Guatemala’s National Coordination for Disaster Reduction said there was almost 200 landslides, wall collapses and mudslides across the country. 40,000 people had been made homeless and another 10,000 had been evacuated from rain-saturated regions.

“This weekend alone we have seen damage comparable to what we experienced with Agatha,” Colom said according to AFP, in reference to a tropical storm in May that killed 165 Guatemalans and left thousands homeless.

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