Guatemala mudslide death toll climbs to 221: Official

Firefighters rescue Rony Pu alive after a landslide in El Cambray II village, Santa Catarina Pinula municipality, Guatemala, on Oct 2, 2015
Firefighters rescue Rony Pu alive after a landslide in El Cambray II village, Santa Catarina Pinula municipality, Guatemala, on Oct 2, 2015PHOTO: EPA

GUATEMALA CITY (AFP) - Rescuers have recovered 221 bodies from the remains of a village near the Guatemalan capital that was buried under a landslide one week ago, an emergency official said on Thursday (Oct 8).

About 150 other people are still missing in Santa Catarina Pinula, where houses were buried last Thursday by a mountain of mud and debris following heavy rains.

Julio Sanchez, of the volunteer fire brigade, told AFP at the scene that rescue work would continue, aided by specially trained dogs.

But rescuers said it would be nothing short of a miracle if anyone were found alive at this point.

The public prosecutor has opened an investigation into the disaster.