Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hundreds buried in Oaxaca landslide (Updated)

In a piece of breaking news hundreds of people are feared to be trapped in the Mexican state of Oaxaca as a result of a massive landslide during the overnight hours.

According to Mexican news daily Milenio local rescue officials believe that at least 100 families living in about 300 homes were buried after a hill gave way in the town of Santa Maria de Tlahuitoltepec. Oaxaca governor Ulises Ruiz told Televisa that as many as 1000 people could be dead due to the landslide resulting after nearly two weeks of heavy rainfall. Ruiz added that rescue efforts could be hampered by local rivers overflowing and flooding roads. Nevertheless emergency personnel including the military has been sent from Mexico City to the town located roughly fifty miles from Oaxaca City.

Yesterday Mexican authorities declared a state of emergency for several Oaxacan municipalities that are under high alert due to the wild weather. Other Mexican regions including Chiapas and Veracruz have been hit hard in the past few weeks by storms that have also affected parts of Central America.

Update: The official death toll thus far from the Oaxacan landslide is seven though some authorities worry that it could be much higher. Meanwhile at least twenty people are believed to be buried in another landslide that occurred this morning in Colombia.

Online Sources - El Universal, Milenio, MSNBC, CNN, The Guardian
Image - The Telegraph ("
Parts of Mexico are enduring their worst rainy season on record, which has triggered heavy flooding and forced thousands of people from their homes." )


DriveGoddess said...

I have spent years driving in Oaxaca and am VERY familiar with Tlahui.....it is a beautiful, busy centre of Mixe culture.....I am very upset hearing this news as I have many connections with that area as a photojournalist and travel consultant....wow.....this is not uncommon in estado Oaxaca during rainy season. I have witnessed whole sections of highway disappearing behind me as I was driving like a bat outta hell to not be part of a hillside falling down....the Mex 175 highway from Oaxaca City down to the coast can get quite bad.

The road to Tlahui from Mitla is a great road but it is vulnerable....

Anonymous said...

where exectly is this town located at? i go to OAXACA every year so im familiar with some of the towns
did you say its by mitla? ive only been to oaxaca de juarez and mostly zimatlan so im not exactly sure where the landslide happenedIm very interested

Erwin C. said...

According to Google Maps Santa MarĂ­a Tlahuitoltepec is located roughly fifty miles east of Oaxaca (ciudad):


Also, please note that authorities drastically scaled back the initial estimate of those missing. It's now believed that eleven people are buried underneath the landslide: