Dad And 3 Sons Die As House Swallowed By Landslide

Story ByAna LacasaSub EditorJoseph GolderAgencyCentral European News

Video Credit: CEN /Xenaxicul De Corazón

A dad and his three children have been killed when their house was swallowed by a landslide during a period of heavy rains in Guatemala.

The incident took place at around 6.30am in the village of Xenaxicul in the municipality of Aguacatan located in the north-western Guatemalan department of Huehuetenango near the border with Mexico.

Picture Credit:CEN

According to the local authorities, heavy rainfall in the region softened the earth and caused the landslide while four family members were inside the house and two were outside.

The 39-year-old dad, identified as Francisco Mejia Lux, and his three children, aged 10, six and three, all died in the incident.

Video Credit: CEN/@EdwinEscobarGT

The three boys have been identified as Feliciano, Fredy Gaspar and Enzo Arael.

A 16-year-old boy who was using the outhouse at the time was rescued by the emergency services, but his current condition is unknown.

Picture Credit:CEN

Reports said he had suffered multiple fractures and was taken to the National Hospital of Huehuetenango.

The children’s 36-year-old mother Catarina Tum Luc was also outside grinding corn for breakfast when the house was swallowed by the landslide and is said to be in deep shock.

Picture Credit:CEN

Neighbours and local residents are helping to console the devastated mum as well as raising money for the funeral costs, according to local media.

The video shared on social networks shows the moment the neighbours are digging the area in order to rescue the family. In another moment of the video a woman can be seen crying and holding what appears to be one of the victims, but it is not mentioned if she is the mother.

During this year’s rainy season, which started in May and finishes in the coming weeks, 12 people have been killed and 15 others have been injured.

More bad weather is expected in the region in the coming days and seven shelters have been activated. Meanwhile, 13 of the country’s 22 departments have been place on yellow alert.

This incident comes just days after a similar incident in the settlement of Nuevo Amanecer, in Ciudad Peronia, in Villa Nueva, central Guatemala, located just 225 km away from Aguacatan.

On Monday, onlookers recorded the moment a huge chunk of land with houses built on it plummets down a cliff.

Nobody was injured by the landslide but around 40 people had to be evacuated.

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Ana Lacasa

I am a senior writer and journalist and editor of the Spanish desk for the Central European News agency.