ACAPULCO, Mexico: Tropical Storm Manuel drenched Mexico’s Pacific coast yesterday, leaving at least nine people dead, while Hurricane Ingrid forced thousands to evacuate the east coast ahead of an expected landfall.
The twin storms soaked huge swaths of the country in the east and west, causing rivers to swell, damaging bridges and threatening to cause more havoc as they neared the coasts.
In the southwestern state of Guerrero, six people died on Saturday when their van’s driver lost control due to a lack of visibility and a slippery road on their way to the resort city of Acapulco, civil protection official Constantino Gonzales Vargas said.
Landslides killed three other people in the municipalities of Acapulco, Atlamajalcingo and Malinaltepec, he said.
The port of Acapulco was closed to navigation and issued a warning against recreational use on beaches ahead of the hurricane’s strong winds. Two men who sailed away were reported missing.
Guerrero’s civil protection services reported damage to at least a dozen homes in two towns in the Costa Chica region due to swollen rivers, and 50 more homes were at risk of being swept away in the flooding and mudslides.
Manuel was moving almost parallel to the southwestern coast, at 17kph, packing maximum winds of 110kph, according to the US National Hurricane Center.
It was located some 70km from the town of Mazanillo, in the western state of Colima.
On the opposite coast, Hurricane Ingrid was lumbering across the Gulf of Mexico and had already forced authorities to evacuate more than 6,000 people after the rivers Tecolutla and Panuco overflowed their banks, Governor Javier Duarte said.
At least 20 bridges were damaged during rains in the north of the state that cut off 71 communities, authorities said.
The storm is expected to make landfall early today. The hurricane centre said Ingrid is expected to dump 25cm to 38cm of rain over a large part of eastern Mexico, with as many as 63cm possible in some areas, particularly ones with mountainous terrain. AFP