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Guatemala landslide death toll tops 220; another 350 missing
October 8, 2015 / 6:22 PM / 2 years ago

Guatemala landslide death toll tops 220; another 350 missing

Bandmates participate in the funeral of Bryan Sandoval, a mudslide victim in Santa Catarina Pinula, on the outskirts of Guatemala City, October 4, 2015. Seven members of the Sandoval family were buried together after their bodies were found following a landslide that swallowed part of a Guatemalan town. Rescue teams have found more than 120 bodies and up to 300 others are missing and feared dead. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - At least 220 bodies have been recovered after a massive landslide buried part of a town in Guatemala last week while about 350 people are missing, national disaster agency Conred said on Thursday.

Loosened by heavy rains, a hillside collapsed onto Santa Catarina Pinula on the southeastern flank of Guatemala City on Oct. 1, burying more than a hundred homes under tons of earth, rock and trees, and sparking a huge rescue effort.

Conred said 386 people were evacuated after the tragedy, one of the worst in years to strike Central America, a region long been prone to devastating floods.

Entire families were buried alive and hundreds of rescue workers have spent the past week trying to dig out bodies.

Guatemalan authorities initially said up to 600 people were accounted for in the disaster. Since then, it has given various estimates on the number missing.

Prosecutors in Guatemala said they are looking at whether there was any criminal misconduct at the site after Conred had warned of the risks of building homes in the neighborhood, which lies at the bottom of a deep ravine.

Reporting by Sofia Menchu and Enrique Pretel; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

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