Guatemala mudslide death toll rises to 253

Nearly 400 missing as search for victims enters 2nd week

Relatives participate in the burial of Santos Etelvina Sontay, a victim of a mudslide in Santa Catarina Pinula, on the outskirts of Guatemala City. (Jose Cabezas/Reuters)

The death toll from the mammoth landslide that buried a neighbourhood on the outskirts of Guatemala’s capital has risen to 253 as the search for victims enters its second week. Nearly 400 people were still missing Friday.

Deputy hospitals minister Israel Lemus said officials still had not decided to suspend the search in Santa Catarina Pinula, but planned to meet to discuss it on Monday.

Alejandro Maldonado, executive director of the National Disaster Reduction Commission, said the current count of missing people stood at 374. He said 184 homes were affected.

Maldonado said the decision to stop or continue looking for bodies would be based on the risk to search crews.