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Scores remain missing in Mexico landslide

At least 68 people feared dead after massive landslide buried half of coffee-growing village of La Pintada.

Last Modified: 22 Sep 2013 15:44
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Sixty-eight people are missing after a mudslide caused by torrential rains that have already killed more than 100 people across Mexico buried a mountain village.

President Enrique Pena Nieto said there was little hope any had survived.

At least three crew members died when a Black Hawk rescue helicopter crashed on a hillside near the stricken village of La Pintada early on Saturday. Police said it was unclear if the helicopter had been carrying any villagers when it crashed.

The government said 68 people were missing after the mudslide in La Pintada, which is about 64km northwest of the Pacific resort of Acapulco.

"Due to the amount of mud that practically buried more than 40 homes in this community it's very difficult to hold on to any hope that they will be found alive," Pena Nieto said in Acapulco, speaking to the city's hospitality industry.

Helicopter crash

A police rescue helicopter missing since Thursday also was found to have crashed, with no survivors, the Interior Ministry said. Five policemen were killed, the ministry said in a statement.

Press reports earlier had said the aircraft, which had been set to deliver relief goods to and evacuate people from La Pintada, was carrying three.

Guerrero state, home to Acapulco, has been the hardest hit by heavy rains unleashed by Hurricane Manuel last week.

In Guerrero alone, the preliminary damage estimate is $380m, according to state Governor Angel Aguirre.

Mudslides and flooding have already killed more than 100 people across the country since last weekend when torrential rains first struck about two-thirds of the country.

Rescue efforts continued across several states in the wake of two destructive storms that have flooded vast swaths of the country.

Tropical storm Ingrid drenched Mexico's Gulf coast last week while Hurricane Manuel did the same to the country's Pacific coast.

Tens of thousands of tourists have made their way out of heavily flooded Acapulco, either by special airlift planes or via the city's main highway, which reopened on Friday.

An estimated 200,000 people were left homeless and nearly 60,000 were evacuated because of the flooding and landslides in the wake of the storms that socked this country of 112 million.

A cold front moving into the country's eastern states of Tamaulipas and Veracruz along the Gulf coast was expected to bring more rains across the country over the weekend.

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Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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