Sep 28, 2010 10:34 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Landslide buries town; 1,000 feared dead

Up to 1,000 people were feared dead after a rain-soaked mountainside gave way and buried hundreds of homes in southwestern Mexico, local media reported Tuesday.

Oaxaca state Gov. Ulises Ruiz told the Televisa television network that the early morning landslide wiped-out 100 to 300 houses.

"There could be between 500, 600 people, maybe 1,000" dead, the governor told Televisa.

"We haven't reached the location yet," Ruiz said, adding that rescue teams were being dispatched to the area.

Heavy rain in the mountains of Oaxaca state loosened the soil around the town, about four hours' drive from the capital of Oaxaca, famous for its colonial buildings and nearby archeological sites.

Authorities said the wet weather had affected roads in the area and would delay rescue teams.

A civil protection source declined to comment on the estimated number of victims but Excelsior newspaper said 1,000 people were feared dead.

A storm system in the western Caribbean has generated widespread rain in the area over the past week.



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