At least 1 dead in a landslide on the outskirts of Mexico City

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A section of mountain on the outskirts of Mexico City gave way on Friday, plunging boulders the size of small houses into a densely populated neighborhood and killing at least one person.

Firefighters scaled a three-story pile of boulders that appeared to rest on houses in Tlalnepantla, which is part of the state of Mexico. The state surrounds the capital on three sides.

As rescuers scaled the huge pile of debris, they sometimes raised their fists in the air, the familiar signal of silence to listen for those trapped below. Firefighters and volunteers formed bucket brigades to scoop the 5-gallon containers of small debris as they dug.

“Right now, our priority is to rescue people who were unfortunately surprised at the event site,” Tlalnepantla Mayor Raciel Pérez Cruz said in a video message. Authorities had evacuated surrounding homes and asked people to avoid the area so rescuers could work.

Rescuers carried a body on a stretcher covered with a sheet past AP reporters.

Ana Luisa Borges, 39, said she lived just three houses away from those affected by the landslide.

“It thundered horribly,” she said of the sound of the slide. “I grabbed my youngest son and ran out (from the house). Then came a very big cloud of dust. Luckily his other four children were in school.

“There are a number of houses there,” she said of the slip zone. “There was a building, but they tell us there are people there and children. I saw a person come out with a head injury.

Borges said they were warned another boulder might fall and she didn’t know where they were going to sleep tonight.

“They only told us that we had to leave (our homes),” she said.

Tlalnepantla officials announced that they were opening several shelters for displaced residents.

Maximinio Andrade, who lives with his parents and siblings – 14 family members in all – near the slide, walked down the steep street pushing a flat-screen TV on a handcart. He was not at home at the time of the landslide, but feared thieves were entering now that surrounding homes had been evacuated.

“They have already started robbing the destroyed houses,” he said.

National Guard troops and rescue teams carrying lengths of rope made their way through the narrow streets.

Images from the area showed a segment of the steep, green side of the peak known as the Chiquihuite sheared above a giant rubble field with houses huddled together remaining on either side.

Mexico State Governor Alfredo del Mazo said via Twitter that local, state and federal authorities are coordinating to secure the area in the event of further landslides and to remove rubble to locate possible victims. .

The landslide follows days of heavy rain in central Mexico and a 7.0 magnitude earthquake Tuesday night near Acapulco that shook buildings 320 kilometers away in Mexico City.

Just three days earlier, the Tlalnepantla government said in a statement that crews from the town were working to clean up mud and rocks that had poured from the mountain into the area during heavy rains.

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