Seven dead, 20 missing as landslide buries road in Mexico

A hillside bloated by heavy rainfall in central Mexico collapsed Tuesday and buried part of a roadway, killing at least seven people and leaving 20 others missing, the mayor of Villa Guerrero said.

“We have seven confirmed dead and another 20 people unaccounted for,” Tito Maya told a local broadcaster from the town some 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Mexico City.

Three people were wounded and taken to hospital.

The mayor said the landslide occurred early in the morning along a local road. Civil Defense rescue crews were clawing through dirt and debris in an effort to find people who might have been buried when the hill gave way, Maya said.

The force of the landslide dragged two vehicles into a ravine, including a passenger bus which had stopped so occupants could get out and remove debris that had tumbled into the road.

Hurricane Karl drenched much of eastern and southern Mexico with torrential rains late last week, causing flooding and landslides that killed at least 12 people and left thousands homeless.

Prior to Karl, intense flooding since late August across wide swathes of Mexico — brought on by what authorities describe as the heaviest rains on record — had left 25 people dead and affected about one million people.