Rain-fueled landslide in El Salvador kills 9; 1 missing

  • Women take pictures of an area destroyed by a deadly landslide in Nejapa, El Salvador, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. The slide occurred Thursday night when earth from the upper part of the San Salvador volcano was set in motion, sweeping up trees and homes.

    Women take pictures of an area destroyed by a deadly landslide in Nejapa, El Salvador, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. The slide occurred Thursday night when earth from the upper part of the San Salvador volcano was set in motion, sweeping up trees and homes. Associated Press

  • A motorcycle is covered in mud after a deadly landslide in Nejapa, El Salvador, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. The slide occurred Thursday night when earth from the upper part of the San Salvador volcano was set in motion, sweeping up trees and homes.

    A motorcycle is covered in mud after a deadly landslide in Nejapa, El Salvador, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. The slide occurred Thursday night when earth from the upper part of the San Salvador volcano was set in motion, sweeping up trees and homes. Associated Press

  • Brown earth replaces an area where homes once stood after a deadly landslide the previous night, in Nejapa, El Salvador  Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. The slide occurred Thursday night when earth from the upper part of the San Salvador volcano was set in motion, sweeping up trees and homes.

    Brown earth replaces an area where homes once stood after a deadly landslide the previous night, in Nejapa, El Salvador Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. The slide occurred Thursday night when earth from the upper part of the San Salvador volcano was set in motion, sweeping up trees and homes. Associated Press

  • People search for bodies where homes once stood after a deadly landslide the previous night, in Nejapa, El Salvador  Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. The slide occurred Thursday night when earth from the upper part of the San Salvador volcano was set in motion, sweeping up trees and homes.

    People search for bodies where homes once stood after a deadly landslide the previous night, in Nejapa, El Salvador Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. The slide occurred Thursday night when earth from the upper part of the San Salvador volcano was set in motion, sweeping up trees and homes. Associated Press

  • People search for bodies where homes once stood after a deadly landslide the previous night, in Nejapa, El Salvador  Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. The slide occurred Thursday night when earth from the upper part of the San Salvador volcano was set in motion, sweeping up trees and homes.

    People search for bodies where homes once stood after a deadly landslide the previous night, in Nejapa, El Salvador Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. The slide occurred Thursday night when earth from the upper part of the San Salvador volcano was set in motion, sweeping up trees and homes. Associated Press

  • People sit at the edge of an area destroyed by a deadly landslide in Nejapa, El Salvador  Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. The slide occurred Thursday night when earth from the upper part of the San Salvador volcano was set in motion, sweeping up trees and homes.

    People sit at the edge of an area destroyed by a deadly landslide in Nejapa, El Salvador Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. The slide occurred Thursday night when earth from the upper part of the San Salvador volcano was set in motion, sweeping up trees and homes. Associated Press

  • Maria Henríquez, 51, watches rescue workers search for bodies in an area destroyed by a deadly landslide in Nejapa, El Salvador  Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. The slide occurred Thursday night when earth from the upper part of the San Salvador volcano was set in motion, sweeping up trees and homes.

    Maria Henríquez, 51, watches rescue workers search for bodies in an area destroyed by a deadly landslide in Nejapa, El Salvador Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. The slide occurred Thursday night when earth from the upper part of the San Salvador volcano was set in motion, sweeping up trees and homes. Associated Press

  • Recovered belongings sit outside a home that was not destroyed by the deadly landslide in Nejapa, El Salvador  Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. The slide occurred Thursday night when earth from the upper part of the San Salvador volcano was set in motion, sweeping up trees and homes.

    Recovered belongings sit outside a home that was not destroyed by the deadly landslide in Nejapa, El Salvador Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. The slide occurred Thursday night when earth from the upper part of the San Salvador volcano was set in motion, sweeping up trees and homes. Associated Press

  • A couple searches through the rubble of their home after it was destroyed by a deadly landslide in Nejapa, El Salvador, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. The slide occurred Thursday night when earth from the upper part of the San Salvador volcano was set in motion, sweeping up trees and homes.

    A couple searches through the rubble of their home after it was destroyed by a deadly landslide in Nejapa, El Salvador, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. The slide occurred Thursday night when earth from the upper part of the San Salvador volcano was set in motion, sweeping up trees and homes. Associated Press

  • A rescue worker stands by as locals watch from the trunk of a tree that fell during a deadly landslide in Nejapa, El Salvador, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. The slide occurred Thursday night when earth from the upper part of the San Salvador volcano was set in motion, sweeping up trees and homes.

    A rescue worker stands by as locals watch from the trunk of a tree that fell during a deadly landslide in Nejapa, El Salvador, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. The slide occurred Thursday night when earth from the upper part of the San Salvador volcano was set in motion, sweeping up trees and homes. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 10/30/2020 10:08 PM

NEJAPA, El Salvador -- A landslide left nine people dead, seven injured and one missing after torrential rains in El Salvador, civil defense officials said Friday.

The slide occurred Thursday night when earth from the upper part of the San Salvador volcano was set in motion, sweeping up trees and homes along a nearly 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) course some 12 miles (20 kilometers) north of the capital.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Local resident Roxana Ruíz came to the search area looking for news of her cousin; she later learned her body had been found.

'Three of my relatives died,' Ruíz said. 'My cousin, her husband, and their child. They were buried, but now they found them.'

Interior Minister Mario Durán said 'this morning we confirmed the deaths of two adult women, a girl, three adult men and a boy, and a few minutes ago we found a man and a woman."

Durán said trained dogs were aiding in the search. He said that all but one of the 35 missing people had been located, but said the search will continue for one man whose wife's body had already been found.

'Some people crawled out of the rubble and mud, and they have joined the effort to rescue their relatives and friends,' Durán said. 'The families in this area have suffered a tragic situation.'

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Civil Defense Director William Hernández said 'according to preliminary data, residents tell us that some 40 homes have been destroyed,' adding that dozens of people were moved from the area to a church.

A total of 135 homes were damaged or destroyed by the landslide.

Housing Minister Michelle Sol promised to erect replacement housing for affected families, noting 'we have found two lots where we can build housing for the victims. We are going to start the paperwork soon to offer these families help.'

President Nayib Bukele mobilized the army to help in the search and rescue operation.

'We believe that we can find people alive and we are not going to rest,' said Interior Minister Mario Durán. Speaking from the site, Durán said that some managed to escape the flow of mud and joined the search for family and friends.

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