November 9, 2007 / 5:24 PM / 12 years ago

Mexico mudslide toll rises to eight, 18 missing

MEXICO CITY, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Rescue workers have dug eight corpses from a huge mudslide that hit a small village in waterlogged southern Mexico earlier this week and 18 people are still missing, local government officials said on Friday.

Rescue teams continued to sift through heaps of rubble from crushed flimsy wooden homes in the village of Juan de Grijalva in the impoverished state of Chiapas and navy scuba divers searched a murky flooded river for more bodies.

The mudslide, more than half a mile (1.6 km) long, hit on Sunday when a hillside saturated with days of rain slid into the Grijalva River, creating a huge wave that slammed into the village.

The village is in a remote region close to Tabasco state, where last week’s heavy rains caused some of Mexico’s most serious flooding in decades, killing three people and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless.

The floods are expected to cost insurers some $700 million.

Thousands of people are still in shelters and authorities are worried about possible outbreaks of cholera and dengue fever. (Reporting by Anahi Rama, editing by Vicki Allen)

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