At least 73 killed in mas­sive land­slide

The Washington Post Sunday - - THE WORLD -

Hopes faded of find­ing any re­main­ing sur­vivors of a mas­sive land­slide in Gu­atemala that killed at least 73 peo­ple, even as res­cue work­ers scrab­bled through earth and rub­ble in search of hun­dreds of oth­ers still miss­ing.

Dig­gers plowed into the mounds of earth that de­stroyed homes in Santa Cata­rina Pin­ula on the south­east­ern flank of Gu­atemala City look­ing for about 350 peo­ple who author­i­ties said were still un­ac­counted for af­ter Thurs­day night’s dis­as­ter. Tons of earth, rocks and trees, loos­ened by rain, cas­caded onto part of the town from a hill­side, flat­ten­ing houses and trap­ping res­i­dents who were at home for the night.

The res­i­dences en­gulfed by the del­uge were built in a neigh­bor­hood known as El Cam­bray II near the bot­tom of a ravine.

About 1,800 sol­diers, fire­fight­ers and neigh­bors helped with the res­cue ef­forts, ac­cord­ing to David de León, a spokesman for Conred, who said some homes had been buried un­der about 50 feet of earth. The land­slide threat­ens to be­come one of the worst nat­u­ral dis­as­ters to hit Cen­tral Amer­ica in re­cent years.

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