Guatemala landslide death toll climbs to 69, hundreds missing

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SANTA CATARINA PINULA, Guatemala: At least 69 people were killed when massive mudslides buried scores of homes on the outskirts of Guatemala’s capital city, officials said Saturday, as the death toll continued to climb. An estimated 300 people were still missing, two days after the landslides suddenly hit, raising the prospect that the number of people who perished in the disaster could rise much higher. On Thursday night, following heavy rain, waterlogged earth and debris tore through the village of El Cambray II, in the municipality of Santa Catarina Pinula, destroying or damaging 125 homes. Municipal authorities had urged the community, about 15 kilometers (10 miles) east of the capital Guatemala City, to relocate several times, most recently in November of last year. But many families have refused, saying that they have nowhere to go.

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