Toll from Mexico mudslides jumps to 36 | world | Hindustan Times
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Toll from Mexico mudslides jumps to 36

A series of mudslides in southern Mexico killed 36 people this week, officials said on Thursday in raising the official toll as a punishing rainy season continued to sow misery.

world Updated: Oct 01, 2010 08:14 IST

A series of mudslides in southern Mexico killed 36 people this week, officials said on Thursday in raising the official toll as a punishing rainy season continued to sow misery.

In the Oaxacan village of Santa Maria Tlahuiltolpetepec, a tiny town of 10,000 where several homes were buried early Tuesday, workers recovered 11 bodies, police said.

The higher toll -- six more than previously found -- meant all people should be accounted for, but rescue workers continued to search through the ruins because nearby hills threatened to collapse.

Meanwhile, Mexico's southernmost state of Chiapas counted more than 20 fatalities.

Rescuers recovered the bodies of a woman and her two small children. Another six people died in mudslides and flooding in the region, while the death toll remained at 16 from a landslide late on Tuesday in remote Amatan.

Chiapas, bordering Guatemala to the south, and Oaxaca to the west, are among Mexico's poorest states, and have been among the hardest hit by record rainfalls in recent months.

The newly confirmed fatalities brought to 131 the number of weather-related deaths during Mexico's rainy season, which began in May and the government has classified as the worst on record.

More than 810,000 have lost their homes, and the flooding and mudslides have caused damage topping four billion dollars.

Rains from Tropical Storm Matthew came after weeks of storms, which officials said have been the wettest on record, wreaking havoc across southern Mexico.

The rain has flooded cities, towns and valleys, destroyed thousands of homes, damaged historic sites and inundated broad stretches of farmland.

Authorities blamed the mudslides in part on deforestation in the region, which has worsened the effects of the recent flooding.

The bad weather has also killed 400 people since May in neighboring Central American countries.