updated 2/9/2009 5:24:11 PM ET 2009-02-09T22:24:11

Officials say at least 12 people are missing and more than 1,000 residents have been evacuated after a massive mudslide swept away a railroad bridge and homes in a small town on Argentina's northern border with Bolivia.

Policeman Dardo Ibarra told Buenos Aires-based Todo Noticias television station that heavy rains flooded the main river running through the town of Tartagal in the province of Salta, triggering landslides along the banks. Rooms in many homes were submerged in up to 1.5 meters (5 feet) of mud.

Ibarra said rescue efforts were underway to find the 12 missing people.

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