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16 Feared Dead in Mexico Mudslides


Mexican officials say at least 16 people are missing and feared dead from a mudslide in flood-ravaged southern Mexico.

Days of heavy rains triggered the landslide in the southern state of Chiapas that buried dozens of homes in San Juan de Grijalva.

In the neighboring state of Tabasco, more than a million people have fled their homes as floodwaters covered some 80 percent of the land.

The flooding in southern Mexico is blamed for at least eight deaths and is described as one of Mexico's worst natural disasters. Water levels have begun to drop in the state capital, Villahermosa, but officials there say much of the area is still submerged.

Mexican military helicopters have been flying in food and clean water to relief centers in Tabasco. Authorities say at least 20,000 people are stranded at their homes. But relief workers say many people are refusing to leave, fearing their homes will be looted.

On Monday, U.S. President George Bush telephoned Mexican President Felipe Calderon to offer help with immediate needs of the flood victims as well as assistance as they rebuild their lives and communities.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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