Search Halted in Deadly Guatemala Landslide

By Dialogo
January 07, 2009

Guatemalan rescue workers have suspended their search for victims of a landslide that buried a road in the northern part of the country Sunday, leaving at least 35 people dead, 15 injured and dozens missing. Authorities made their decision Tuesday, citing unstable terrain and the risk to rescue workers. The landslide happened when part of a mountain collapsed in the department state of Alta Verapaz, sending tons of earth and rock crashing down onto the road. Since then, search teams have been working in the midst of falling rock. Officials said the victims apparently ignored warnings not to use the road, which was closed in December after a similar rock fall left two people dead. The latest landslide swept across the mountain road connecting the towns of San Cristobal and Chicaman. Guatemala's rugged terrain is vulnerable to floods and landslides.