Mexican villagers recount horror of huge mudslide

Mexican villagers recount horror of huge mudslide

ACAPULCO, Mexico - A rumbling noise came from the hill before the earth crashed down on the Mexican hamlet of La Pintada, burying people, the school and church after days of rain, survivors told AFP.

The remote mountain village in the southwestern state of Guerrero was the latest casualty of twin major storms that battered Mexico and killed 80 people elsewhere in the country this week.

Survivors who were evacuated to the Pacific resort of Acapulco told AFP that the mudslide occurred on Monday, but news of the disaster in the coffee-growing village only emerged on Wednesday.

Ediberto Tabarez, the mayor of Atoyac de Alvarez, a municipality that oversees La Pintada, told AFP in a phone interview that at least 15 bodies have been pulled out of the rubble after 20 homes were buried.

President Enrique Pena Nieto did not confirm a death toll but said 58 people were missing after the "major landslide" buried part of the village of 400 people.

"We are not sure for the moment how many people are trapped under the mud," he said.

The earth had already rumbled days before the mudslide, but most residents stayed put, survivors said. Only those living on the banks of the river decided to leave due to heavy rains.

"More than half of La Pintada was demolished, few homes were left," Maria del Carmen Catalan, a 27-year-old mother of three, said at a convention centre that serves as a refuge for storm victims.

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