Death Toll From Flooding In Mexico Rises

Saturday, November 10th 2007, 9:13 pm
By: News On 6

OSTUACAN, Mexico (AP) _ The death toll from massive flooding in southern Mexico rose to at least 19 on Saturday, after authorities found the bodies of two young girls, victims of a landslide and subsequent wave that wiped out a village.

The discovery of the girls, who were seven and 10 years old, brought the total number of people confirmed dead in the Chiapas hamlet of San Juan Grijalva to 11. Floods killed at least eight others elsewhere in Chiapas and neighboring Tabasco state.

The search continued as divers looked for at least 16 people reported missing after a Nov. 5 landslide unleashed a giant wave, covering the village with small lakes of water.

Authorities said rescue efforts could be suspended if no other bodies are found in the next 24 hours.

Two dozen bulldozers meanwhile worked furiously to clear a course for the Grijalva river, which the landslide blocked and diverted. Officials worry the river _ now restrained by dams upstream _ could break through and pile up behind the blockage, bursting through and flooding the area again if heavy rains resume.