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Guatemala mudslide kills dozens, 600 missing

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By Keith Walker
Guatemala mudslide kills dozens, 600 missing

The collapse of a hillside onto a town at the edge of Guatemala City has killed dozens of people. Officials say at least 600 people are believed missing.

Rescuers say they heard voices under collapsed homes buried under dirt and sludge.

“Our main priority is rescue, to take [survivors] from the rumble, the largest number of people with the hope that they survived,” said Guatemalan President Alejandro Maldonado.

Dozens of flimsy homes were flattened by tons of dirt and trees loosened by heavy rain. The mudslide was one of worst in recent memory in the South American nation.

“The houses were buried about 10-15 metres underground, which is making it difficult to carry out the search and rescue,” explained Mario Cruz, a volunteer firefighter.

Many survivors have been relocated to an emergency shelter where they are being given food and basic supplies.