Flooding Kills Over 160 in Central America
GUATEMALA CITY (AP) -- Rescue workers searched for victims of a mudslide near a volcano-ringed lake popular with tourists in Guatemala, as the death toll in the region from flooding sparked by heavy rains climbed above 160.
Downpours have battered Central America and southern Mexico since the weekend, causing rivers to overflow and sweeping away homes and people. The floods caused huge chunks of land to give way, burying everything in their path.
The storms have killed at least 79 people in Guatemala, but officials said they have not yet counted all the casualties. In neighboring El Salvador, 62 people have died.
Elsewhere in Central America, nine people have died in Nicaragua, four in Honduras and one in Costa Rica, most from landslides triggered by heavy rains. In the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, officials said six people were killed.
Forecasters at the U.S. Hurricane Center said the rain was likely to continue for the next few days.
The hardest hit area appeared to be a town close to Lake Atitlan, a breathtaking freshwater reserve surrounded by volcanos and Mayan communities, 60 miles west of the capital Guatemala City.
Emergency officials there pulled 15 bodies from the mud and said the death toll would likely rise when authorities were able to step up search efforts hindered by continued rains.
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photo: school's out, our first day in Antgua, we made a tour throught the little surrounding villages with mountainbikes. Here we arrived at a square before a cathedral. Schoolkids were fleeing out of school and were very curious about us.