Latin America & Caribbean

Fresh Mexico landslide kills 16 people in Chiapas


A new landslide in southern Mexico has killed at least 16 people, local officials say.

A hillside collapsed after a torrential rain in the town of Amatan, in the state of Chiapas.

In a Twitter message, Mexican President Felipe Calderon said the government was sending rescue teams to the scene.

Eleven people are still missing in the neighbouring state of Oaxaca, where a landslide buried several houses on Tuesday.

Local authorities originally said a collapsed hillside had engulfed hundreds of houses in the town of Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec, raising fears of many deaths.

But they later dramatically scaled back the number of people believed to be buried under tons of rock and mud.

Climate warning

"Unfortunately, there was a new mudslide," President Calderon said via Twitter on Wednesday.

"The governor [of Chiapas] informed me there were 12 deaths."

State officials later said that 16 people were known to have died - eight children and eight adults - in Amatan, a largely indigenous town in Chiapas, one of Mexico's poorest states.

Earlier on Wednesday, Mr Calderon said that Mexico's latest rash of storms and floods highlighted the urgent need for a global accord on cutting greenhouse gases blamed for climate change.

"For us, it is absolutely clear that global warming exists," the AFP news agency reported him saying at an energy forum in Mexico.

The president added that world leaders needed only "go see some families in Mexico who have lost everything, or parts of their homes" to natural disasters.

Mr Calderon was speaking ahead of UN climate talks in Cancun, eastern Mexico, in November.

Parts of Mexico have endured their worst rainy season on record, with heavy flooding and mudslides forcing thousands of people from their homes.

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