Search in Mexico hill collapse slowed by fears of landslides

A boulder that plunged from a mountainside rests among homes in Tlalnepantla, on the outskirts of Mexico City, when a mountain gave way on Friday, Sept. 10, 2021.  A section of mountain on the outskirts of Mexico City gave way Friday, plunging rocks the size of small homes onto a densely populated neighborhood and leaving at least one person dead and 10 others missing. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
Caption
A boulder that plunged from a mountainside rests among homes in Tlalnepantla, on the outskirts of Mexico City, when a mountain gave way on Friday, Sept. 10, 2021. A section of mountain on the outskirts of Mexico City gave way Friday, plunging rocks the size of small homes onto a densely populated neighborhood and leaving at least one person dead and 10 others missing. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

Credit: Eduardo Verdugo

Credit: Eduardo Verdugo

Fears of new landslides are slowing the search for more victims from the collapse of a hillside that brought tons of boulders down on a neighborhood outside Mexico City, killing at least one person

TLALNEPANTLA, Mexico (AP) — Fears of new landslides slowed the search Saturday for more victims from the collapse of a hillside that brought tons of boulders down on a neighborhood outside Mexico City, killing at least one person.

Authorities in Tlalnepantla, the municipality in Mexico state where the disaster took place Friday, reduced the number of missing people from 10 to three Saturday after seven of the missing were located, said Ricardo de la Cruz, undersecretary general of Mexico state.

A day after the collapse, armed forces dogs continued to search the rubble for victims but officials focused their efforts on evacuating at least 80 homes in the area and stabilizing the land to allow heavy machinery onto the scene.

“You can still see cracks” in the hillside, De la Cruz said. “Our engineers mark and do laser measurements and there has been additional movement on the slope.”

Experts estimate that the largest boulder set loose by the collapse on Chiquihuite hill could weigh about 200 tons and is embedded in one of the houses, De la Cruz said.

Besides the size of the boulders and fears of more landslides, the search is also being slowed by the neighborhood's narrow, steep paths which are largely inaccessible to heavy machinery.

Friday's landslide in Tlalnepantla followed days of heavy rain in central Mexico and a 7.0-magnitude earthquake Tuesday in Acapulco that swayed buildings 200 miles away in the capital. Mexico state Gov. Alfredo del Mazo said Friday night that both factors likely contributed to the slide.

On Friday afternoon, rescuers had carried a body on a stretcher covered with a sheet past AP journalists.

Residents evacuate from their home at the site of a landslide that brought tons of massive boulders down on a steep hillside neighborhood, in Tlalnepantla, on the outskirts of Mexico City, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. A section of the peak known as Chiquihuite gave way Friday afternoon, plunging rocks the size of small homes onto the densely populated neighborhood. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
Caption
Residents evacuate from their home at the site of a landslide that brought tons of massive boulders down on a steep hillside neighborhood, in Tlalnepantla, on the outskirts of Mexico City, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. A section of the peak known as Chiquihuite gave way Friday afternoon, plunging rocks the size of small homes onto the densely populated neighborhood. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)

Credit: Ginnette Riquelme

Credit: Ginnette Riquelme

A man evacuates a turtle during search and rescue efforts at the site of a landslide that brought tons of massive boulders down on a steep hillside neighborhood, in Tlalnepantla, on the outskirts of Mexico City, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. A section of the peak known as Chiquihuite gave way Friday afternoon, plunging rocks the size of small homes onto the densely populated neighborhood. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
Caption
A man evacuates a turtle during search and rescue efforts at the site of a landslide that brought tons of massive boulders down on a steep hillside neighborhood, in Tlalnepantla, on the outskirts of Mexico City, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. A section of the peak known as Chiquihuite gave way Friday afternoon, plunging rocks the size of small homes onto the densely populated neighborhood. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)

Credit: Ginnette Riquelme

Credit: Ginnette Riquelme

A woman stands next to a man after they had to evacuate their home in Tlalnepantla, on the outskirts of Mexico City, when a mountain gave way on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. A section of mountain on the outskirts of Mexico City gave way Friday, plunging rocks the size of small homes onto a densely populated neighborhood and leaving at least one person dead and 10 others missing. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
Caption
A woman stands next to a man after they had to evacuate their home in Tlalnepantla, on the outskirts of Mexico City, when a mountain gave way on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. A section of mountain on the outskirts of Mexico City gave way Friday, plunging rocks the size of small homes onto a densely populated neighborhood and leaving at least one person dead and 10 others missing. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)

Credit: Ginnette Riquelme

Credit: Ginnette Riquelme

Volunteers offer free food and drink for search and rescue team members at the site of a landslide that brought tons of massive boulders down on a steep hillside neighborhood, in Tlalnepantla, on the outskirts of Mexico City, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. A section of the peak known as Chiquihuite gave way Friday afternoon, plunging rocks the size of small homes onto a densely populated neighborhood.
Caption
Volunteers offer free food and drink for search and rescue team members at the site of a landslide that brought tons of massive boulders down on a steep hillside neighborhood, in Tlalnepantla, on the outskirts of Mexico City, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. A section of the peak known as Chiquihuite gave way Friday afternoon, plunging rocks the size of small homes onto a densely populated neighborhood.

Credit: Ginnette Riquelme

Credit: Ginnette Riquelme

Volunteers prepare plates of food for people working in the search and rescue efforts at the site of a landslide that brought tons of massive boulders down on a steep hillside neighborhood, in Tlalnepantla, on the outskirts of Mexico City, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. A section of the peak known as Chiquihuite gave way Friday afternoon, plunging rocks the size of small homes onto the densely populated neighborhood. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
Caption
Volunteers prepare plates of food for people working in the search and rescue efforts at the site of a landslide that brought tons of massive boulders down on a steep hillside neighborhood, in Tlalnepantla, on the outskirts of Mexico City, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. A section of the peak known as Chiquihuite gave way Friday afternoon, plunging rocks the size of small homes onto the densely populated neighborhood. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)

Credit: Ginnette Riquelme

Credit: Ginnette Riquelme

Boulders and debris that plunged from a mountainside rest atop homes in Tlalnepantla, on the outskirts of Mexico City, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. A section of a mountain on the outskirts of Mexico City gave way Friday, plunging rocks the size of small homes onto a densely populated neighborhood and leaving at least one person dead and 10 others missing. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
Caption
Boulders and debris that plunged from a mountainside rest atop homes in Tlalnepantla, on the outskirts of Mexico City, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. A section of a mountain on the outskirts of Mexico City gave way Friday, plunging rocks the size of small homes onto a densely populated neighborhood and leaving at least one person dead and 10 others missing. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)

Credit: Ginnette Riquelme

Credit: Ginnette Riquelme

An evacuee uses a wheelbarrow to transport his belongings at the site of a landslide that brought tons of massive boulders down on a steep hillside neighborhood, in Tlalnepantla, on the outskirts of Mexico City, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. A section of the peak known as Chiquihuite gave way Friday afternoon, plunging rocks the size of small homes onto the densely populated neighborhood. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
Caption
An evacuee uses a wheelbarrow to transport his belongings at the site of a landslide that brought tons of massive boulders down on a steep hillside neighborhood, in Tlalnepantla, on the outskirts of Mexico City, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. A section of the peak known as Chiquihuite gave way Friday afternoon, plunging rocks the size of small homes onto the densely populated neighborhood. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)

Credit: Ginnette Riquelme

Credit: Ginnette Riquelme

A volunteer offers plates of food to soldiers working in the search and rescue efforts at the site of a landslide that brought tons of massive boulders down on a steep hillside neighborhood, in Tlalnepantla, on the outskirts of Mexico City, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. A section of the peak known as Chiquihuite gave way Friday afternoon, plunging rocks the size of small homes onto the densely populated neighborhood. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
Caption
A volunteer offers plates of food to soldiers working in the search and rescue efforts at the site of a landslide that brought tons of massive boulders down on a steep hillside neighborhood, in Tlalnepantla, on the outskirts of Mexico City, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. A section of the peak known as Chiquihuite gave way Friday afternoon, plunging rocks the size of small homes onto the densely populated neighborhood. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)

Credit: Ginnette Riquelme

Credit: Ginnette Riquelme

Soldiers carry buckets as they help in the search and rescue efforts at the site of a landslide that brought tons of massive boulders down on a steep hillside neighborhood, in Tlalnepantla, on the outskirts of Mexico City, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. A section of the peak known as Chiquihuite gave way Friday afternoon, plunging rocks the size of small homes onto the densely populated neighborhood. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
Caption
Soldiers carry buckets as they help in the search and rescue efforts at the site of a landslide that brought tons of massive boulders down on a steep hillside neighborhood, in Tlalnepantla, on the outskirts of Mexico City, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. A section of the peak known as Chiquihuite gave way Friday afternoon, plunging rocks the size of small homes onto the densely populated neighborhood. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)

Credit: Ginnette Riquelme

Credit: Ginnette Riquelme