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Death Toll at 45 in Guatemala Mudslides


Authorities in Guatemala say mudslides triggered by a series of torrential rains have killed at least 45 people and caused half a billion dollars in damage.

The death toll climbed Monday as Guatemalans held a national day of mourning to remember the dead, and President Alvaro Colom declared the situation a "national tragedy."

Officials fear the death toll could go higher as rescuers search for additional victims. At least 15 people are believed to be missing.

Tropical weather systems in both the Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico have left hillsides throughout Guatemala and southern Mexico saturated with water.

Heavy flooding in the Mexican Gulf Coast state of Tabasco also forced thousands of people from their homes. Authorities in the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca and Veracruz reported serious flooding as well.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and AFP.

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