Grim search for victims in buried Mexican village
LA PINTADA, Mexico (AFP) - The broken church steeple of La Pintada lay sideways atop a mountain of mud, toppled after earth tumbled from a hill and buried half the Mexican village of 400 people.
Few homes were spared by the mudslide that crashed on the mountain hamlet, leaving 68 people missing and turning La Pintada into a grim symbol of the fierce storms that have lashed Mexico for days and killed 97 nationwide.
Around 100 soldiers and police officers arrived in the village on Thursday, some by helicopter, others after an exhausting seven-hour hike on a road covered by landslides.
Wearing surgical masks, they dug in the mud for victims, removed pieces of broken homes and chopped collapsed trees with machetes.