Rescue workers in Guatemala are digging through rubble from a mudslide that hit a village not far from the capital, in search of hundreds missing.
At least 26 bodies have so far been recovered from the village of El Cambray Dos, rescue services said.
Heavy rains swept a torrent of boulders and mud onto houses on Thursday (local time), 15 kilometres east of Guatemala City.
Relatives have been receiving calls and texts from people trapped under the rubble, reporters at the scene said.
The injured and homeless were being taken to makeshift shelters.
Julio Sanchez, a spokesman for Guatemala's volunteer firefighters, said 26 people had died and another 36 people were taken to hospitals.
But Alejandro Maldonado, the head of the Guatemalan disaster agency, has warned that as many as 600 people could still be missing.
He said that number of people was believed to be asleep in their homes when the mudslide occurred, he added.
El Cambray is surrounded by steep hills that tower over the houses which are mostly set in the valley bottom.
Mr Maldonado said in a radio interview that the forested hills had been weakening for some time and had collapsed largely because of recent heavy rain.
Survivor Melina Hidalgo, 35, said all her neighbours had been killed.
She was washing clothes when there was a loud crash and the lights went out. She found neighboring houses covered in soil and mud. Felled electricity poles were giving off sparks and crying people searched for children, Ms Hidalgo said.
Guatemalan media reported rescuers heard voices under collapsed buildings and earth as they struggled to dig people out.
Marta Guitz, 37, returned from work to find her house buried and was unable to reach Dany, her 17-year-old son, who she believed was inside.
"My husband is there now shovelling through soil to find our son," the domestic worker said as tears welled.
Oscar Raul de Leon and his family abandoned their home and he looked for his cousin, but all he found were the remains of the relative's home.
The landslide was one of the worst in recent memory in the impoverished Central American country. Last month, the country was shocked by the arrest of its president on corruption charges.