29 Sep 2010

Mudslide engulfs houses in Mexico

9:09 pm on 29 September 2010

A landslide triggered by heavy rain has hit a town in southern Mexico, engulfing a number of houses, according to officials.

They say it appears that the damage in Santa Maria Tlahitoltepec in Oaxaca state was less serious than originally feared, the BBC reports.

The army has sent in 150 troops to the area. Blocked access roads and unstable terrain from heavy rains are making it difficult for rescue crews to search for survivors.

State governor Ulises Ruiz said 11 people were missing and there were no confirmed deaths.

Initial reports said seven people died and about 100 others were missing.

Mr Ruiz earlier said that the first rescuers to arrive in the town had said the number of houses and people affected may also be lower than previously reported.

Earlier reports suggested that some 300 homes had been buried, with as many as 600 people sleeping inside.

Authorities have decided to evacuate the town of 9,000 because there was a risk of further landslides.