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At least 58 ‘likely’ dead after mudslide hits Mexico ahead of hurricane

Published time: September 19, 2013 03:08
Edited time: September 19, 2013 13:26
A man sits atop a car while trying to cross a flooded street in Chilpancingo, state of Guerrero, Mexico, on September 17, 2013. (AFP Photo / Eduardo Guerrero)

A man sits atop a car while trying to cross a flooded street in Chilpancingo, state of Guerrero, Mexico, on September 17, 2013. (AFP Photo / Eduardo Guerrero)

At least 58 people are missing or dead after a landslide covered half of a village in southwestern Mexico. The official death toll rose to 80 on Wednesday, as Tropical Storm Manuel regained strength, becoming a hurricane.

A major landslide buried half of the village of La Pintada in Guerrero state, President Enrique Pena Nieto said in a televised address, adding that "58 people are missing.”  Local authorities are still trying to determine whether the missing people are trapped or not. 

Angel Aguirre, the governor of the state of Guerrero, said the missing people have most likely “lost their lives," according to NBC news.

So far rescue workers have evacuated 344 people from the village, Mexican Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said. Another 45 people will be flown out of the area on Thursday.

Osorio Chong added that there is a risk of more mudslides in the area, as the village was heavily hit by rains from Tropical Storm Manuel.  

It was reported earlier on Wednesday that the death toll had increased to 80 people after Mexico’s Manuel regained strength and became a hurricane.

Mexico was hit with tropical storms Ingrid and Manuel earlier this week. The storms prompted landslides, rockslides, and floods, which blocked off roads.

The storms, which have led to some of the country’s worst flooding in decades, have stranded appoximately 40,000 tourists in Acapulco resorts. Downpours quickly led to massive landslides that swept through buildings and roads in the resort town.

Approximately 23,000 people across the state of Veracruz, located on Mexico’s Gulf coast, had to be evacuated from their homes. Nearly 10,000 have taken refuge in emergency shelters.

An aerial view of flooded streets in Acapulco, state of Guerrero, Mexico, on September 17, 2013 as heavy rains hit the country. (AFP Photo)

Rescued people are taken to safety by Mexican Federal Police officers on an inflatable dinghy in a flooded street of Acapulco, state of Guerrero, Mexico, on September 18, 2013 as heavy rains hit the country. (AFP Photo / Ronaldo Schemidt)

Residents loot a supermarket in Acapulco, state of Guerrero, Mexico, on September 17, 2013 as heavy rains hit the country. (AFP Photo / Ronaldo Schemidt)

Looters flee with goods from a supermarket in Acapulco, state of Guerrero, Mexico, on September 17, 2013 as heavy rains hit the country. (AFP Photo / Ronaldo Schemidt)

Residents and tourists wade through a flooded street in Acapulco, Guerrero state, Mexico, on September 17, 2013 as heavy rains hit the country. (AFP Photo / Pedro Pardo)

Residents search for food amid the debris in a flooded street of Acapulco, state of Guerrero, Mexico, on September 18, 2013 as heavy rains hit the country. (AFP Photo / Ronaldo Schemidt)