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At least 6 people dead, 12 missing after landslide in Guatemala sweeps homes into river

Two people in orange hard hats and red vests clear debris on a slope
Firefighters clear debris as they search for survivors on Sept. 25, 2023, after homes were swept away overnight by the rain-swollen Naranjo River in Guatemala City.
(Moises Castillo / Associated Press)
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Heavy rains set off a landslide in Guatemala’s capital early Monday, sweeping several humble homes into a river and leaving at least six people dead and 12 missing, including 10 minors, Guatemala’s National Disaster Reduction Coordinator said in a statement Monday.

A 5-year-old girl was recovered by firefighters partially buried in debris and mud some three miles down the Naranjo River.

The landslide swept away six homes and their occupants around 2 a.m. About three hours later, the firefighters announced they would start a search.

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The 1,000 survivors of a mudslide that buried a Guatemalan town are living in squalor in a makeshift settlement that offers hunger and death.

Aug. 10, 2021

Landslides are a constant threat during Guatemala’s rainy season, which extends to November. There are few controls on where people build their homes, especially in poor settlements, putting them at greater risk.

Images provided by rescuers showed the long path of the landslide and evidence of domestic life strewn along the river bank. The military set up a command center to oversee the rescue effort.

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