Mexico Landslide Decimates Remote Village

Rescue workers found a third body and were still looking for 24 missing villagers Wednesday after a wave of water and mud buried a hamlet in southern Mexico.

Salvador Cervantes, a civil defense spokesman in the southern state of Chiapas, said discovery of the man's body Tuesday night raised the known death toll to three. Also killed were a 40-year-old local woman and an unidentified male.

On Sunday night, a landslide crashed down on San Juan Grijalva, home to about 600 people. Residents said they were awakened by a loud rumbling as mud and rocks rolled down from surrounding hilltops.

When the hillside collapsed into the Grijalva river, it also created at least one enormous wave of water that swept over dozens of homes. Chiapas state Gov. Juan Sabines described it as a "mini-tsunami."

Civil Protection officials previously had estimated that from 12 to 14 people were missing but raised the number to 24 after interviewing neighbors and family members in the area, said Luis Manuel Garcia, Chiapas assistant civil defense secretary.

San Juan Grijalva is about 70 kilometers (45 miles) upstream from Villahermosa, the Tabasco state capital that remained largely flooded on Tuesday, with rescue workers using motorboats to travel along once-busy streets.

The landslide added to woes caused by widespread flooding and heavy rains across Mexico and Central America. In Honduras, authorities evacuated dozens of people on the Atlantic coast and at least two people drowned this week in floodwaters, including a 2-year-old boy.

Officials said that about 80 percent of Tabasco was underwater at one point and about 500,000 had their homes damaged or destroyed.