HUAUCHINANGO, Mexico, Aug 9, (APP/AFP) – Hundreds of soldiers and rescue workers searched for the missing Monday after the remnants of Tropical Storm Earl triggered landslides in central Mexico that killed at least 45 people.
Trudging through mud that was sometimes up to their knees, emergency teams used sniffer dogs to find more bodies in the rubble and worked to dig damaged homes out
of the muck.
Among the bodies they uncovered were those of Antonia Orozco and her month-old baby, whom she died clutching in her arms as a river of mud washed over their house in the central village of Xaltepec.
Her mother-in-law, Alberta Negrete, 62, also lost her four children and two other grandchildren.
“My entire body hurts from pulling myself out of the mud. God helped me,” she said with a vacant look, before bursting into sobs.
Earl smashed into Central America at hurricane strength Wednesday, and then hit Mexico as a tropical storm on Thursday before weakening to a tropical depression.
But its remnants still packed a deadly punch.
Hardest hit was the central state of Puebla, where 32 people died, including at least 15 minors, as landslides buried several homes in the state’s northern mountains, said governor Rafael Moreno Valle.
“There are communities that are cut off. It’s taking us a lot of work to get through,” he said.
In one Puebla village, a rain-soaked hill crumbled and came sweeping down on the town, killing 11 people including eight minors. Some 500 families were evacuated to shelters.
Officials did not say how many people were missing. There were some 600 soldiers and rescue workers out searching.
Another 13 died in similar circumstances or washed away in the flood waters in the eastern state of Veracruz, officials said.