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December 13, 2017

Guatemala families evacuated as new landslides predicted


Newsroom24x7 Desk

guatemalaGuatemala : Last week a landslide at Guatemala had killed 253 people and rendered hundreds shelterless in the Cambray 2 neighborhood. As a preventive measure, the authorities in Guatemala are taking precautions to save people from further accidents by taking premptive measures in advance. Anticipation another such landslide, the authorities in Guatemala have ordered some 40 families to leave their homes close to where a landslide killed at least 253 people last week. It is predicted that there seems to be a risk of another landslide hitting the area, near the capital, Guatemala City.

Ongoing rescue operations due to last week’s landslide are presently going on in full swing. This new landslide projection is forcing the government to reconsider and decide whether to suspend the rescue work on a temporary basis from Monday when the landslide is predicted.An official investigation is underway to determine why houses where built in El Cambray 2 neighborhood despite warnings of a possible accident.

Guatemala’s National Disaster Reduction Commission (Conred) warned as early as 2009 that there was a risk of collapse.But precautions were not followed and the middle-class neighborhood was built at the bottom of a steep hillside next to a river, some 15 km (nine miles) east of Guatemala City. Conred said its most recent warning came in November 2014 when it alerted local authorities on the status of river erosion and intimated that the river was eroding the base of the hill. But residents said they had not been made aware of the risks.

 Due to the earlier landslide, many survivors have gone missing and rescue operations are in full swing. The official number of people missing has been revised upwards to 374. However, most of the missing persons are presumed dead, buried under tons of soil and rocks that slid off the rain-sodden hill last Thursday.

Government has promised to build new homes for the shelterless and those families which have been evacuated. Financial support has been extended for which Guatemala’s Congress has approved $2.6m (£1.7m) in funds to help the victims. The local school building is currently being used as a shelter for some 400 people left homeless.

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