Officials have said that at least 33 people were killed when a huge chunk of mountain slid onto a road in northern Guatemala on Sunday and crushing them.

The death toll could rise as rescue workers battle to find bodies in the rubble. Also continued rock falls in the area were hampering rescue efforts.

The massive landslide, triggered by a geological fault, brought some 10 million tonnes of rock crashing down onto the road in a sparsely populated area of Alta Verapaz, around 200km north of Guatemala City.

According to reports the road was closed in December following a smaller rock fall killing two people.

The victims of Sunday's collapse were pedestrians who ignored warnings not to use the route. The road was prohibited but some people continued to use it.

Landslides are common in Guatemala, but usually occur during the rainy season between June and November when hills become waterlogged and unstable.