Guatemala mudslide death toll reaches 56

Posted at 2:03 PM, Oct 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-03 17:03:35-04

SANTA CATARINA PINULA, Guatemala — A Guatemalan emergency official says the number of people killed when a hillside collapsed on a group of homes has risen to 56.

Julio Sanchez says that besides the dead, officials estimate that 350 people remain missing. Sanchez is a spokesman for Guatemala's volunteer firefighters.

The previous death toll was 30 and estimates of the number of missing had been as high as 600.

Rescue specialists from the Red Cross and fire and police departments were using dogs to search for possible survivors in the mudslide zone on the outskirts of Guatemala City, where tons of earth fell over some 125 homes, authorities from the region estimate.

After suspending work Friday evening, search efforts resumed at dawn on Saturday