Mexico Landslide Buries La Pintada; 68 Missing, Presumed Dead

Image: Mexico Landslide Buries  La Pintada; 68 Missing, Presumed Dead

Friday, 20 Sep 2013 09:12 AM

By Michael Mullins

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A landslide has demolished much of the Mexican town of La Pintada, which as of Friday morning reported 68 people missing and presumed dead. The town consists of approximately 800 residents in total.

"Everyone who could ran into the coffee fields," La Pintada resident Marta Alvarez told the Associated Press. "It smothered the homes and sent them into the river. Half the homes in town were smothered and buried."

A 22-year-old homemaker, Alvarez was in her kitchen cooking with her 2-year-old son, two brothers and parents when the landslide erupted, which other residents said reminded them of an earthquake before the mud and water began pouring into their modest homes.

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The mudslide was preceded by days of severe, inclement weather.

On Monday, Mexico was hit by two powerful storms, one from the Pacific and the other the Gulf, which pummeled the country and gave way to some of the worst flooding the country had seen in decades.

Days later, Hurricane Manuel inflicted more damage to the region, giving way to further flooding and mudslides, resulting in more than 80 lives being lost as of Thursday morning and some 40,000 or so tourists being stranded in the nearby resort area of Acapulco.

Among the many mourning the loss of loved ones was 43-year-old single mother Amelia Saldana.

Saldana lost her 5-year-old twin boys, Yael and Osiel, as well as her elderly mother, and a close family friend.

"I tried to get back to my kids, but I couldn't," Saldana told the AP as she reportedly wept furiously. "I feel so awful. I lost everything."

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Saldana was in the local market when the mudslide began, having left her sons home with their grandmother due to the rain. She was unable to get to her home once the river of mud began pouring into La Pintada, her house being one of the dozens that were buried in the mudslide.

Saldana is one of approximately 400 surviving residents of the village who are now living off foam matts at the nearby of Acapulco's convention center, having lost all their possessions and in many cases family members to the merciless mudslide that destroyed the blue-collar Mexican town of La Pintada this week.

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