Fears of new landslides are slowing the search for more victims of a hill collapse that dropped tons of rocks in a neighborhood outside Mexico City, killing at least one person
Authorities in Tlalnepantla, the municipality in the state of Mexico where the disaster took place on Friday, reduced the number of missing people from 10 to three on Saturday after seven of the missing were located, said Ricardo de la Cruz, under -secretary general of the state of Mexico.
A day after the collapse, armed forces dogs continued to search the rubble for casualties, but authorities focused their efforts on evacuating at least 80 homes in the area and stabilizing the land for allow heavy machinery to enter the premises.
“You can still see cracks” in the hill, said De la Cruz. “Our engineers are marking and doing laser measurements and there was some extra movement on the slope. “
Experts estimate that the largest boulder detached by the Chiquihuite hill collapse could weigh around 200 tons and is embedded in one of the houses, De la Cruz said.
Besides the sheer size of the rocks and fears of new landslides, the search is also hampered by the neighborhood’s narrow, steep footpaths that are largely inaccessible to heavy machinery.
Friday’s landslide in Tlalnepantla followed days of heavy rain in central Mexico and a 7.0 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday in Acapulco that rocked buildings 200 miles from the capital. Mexican state governor Alfredo del Mazo said Friday night that both factors likely contributed to the fall.
Friday afternoon, rescuers transported a body on a stretcher covered with a sheet in front of PA journalists.