A landslide has buried some 300 homes in a poor, remote area of south-western Mexico, possibly killing hundreds of people while they slept, local authorities and media say.
Heavy rains in mountainous Oaxaca state are believed to have triggered the landslide near Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec, a town of about 9,000 people who largely speak an indigenous language.
Oaxaca governor Ulises Ruiz has told Televisa television that 500 to 600 people may have been killed, injured or buried in the landslide.
“It is raining a lot and we are told that an area about 200 meters wide [collapsed],” he said.
A source from the civil protection force in Oaxaca declined to provide an estimate of how many people may have been killed, but Excelsior, a leading national newspaper, said the death toll could be as high as 1,000 people.
Authorities said that bad weather has blocked roads and would delay rescue teams getting to the site of the disaster.
“We haven’t reached the location yet,” Mr Ruiz said, adding that rescue workers were being sent to the area by plane and would be able to provide more information about casualties.
A spokesman for the Mexican navy said a convoy of marines was en route to Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec, a four-hour drive away from the state capital of Oaxaca.
Heavy rains have fallen on Central America and parts of Mexico for days as two storm systems moved across the Western Caribbean.
Parts of Mexico are enduring their worst rainy season on record, which has triggered heavy flooding and forced thousands of people from their homes in vulnerable parts of the country.
Source: ABC news