ACAPULCO: Authorities scrambled to rescue people stranded in flooded homes in Mexico’s resort of Acapulco yesterday after twin storms slammed opposite coasts in a rare one-two punch that has killed 34 people..
Hurricane Ingrid weakened to tropical storm strength as it made landfall on the northeastern coast in the morning while the Pacific coast was reeling from the remnants of Tropical Storm Manuel, which dissipated after striking on Sunday.
Thousands of people were evacuated on both sides of the country as the two storms set off landslides and floods that damaged bridges, roads and homes.
The last time the country was hit by two tropical storms in the span of 24 hours was in 1958, officials said. It was never hit by a hurricane and another storm at the same time. “More than two-thirds of the national territory has been affected,” Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong told a news conference.
At least 15 of the 22 deaths occurred in the southwestern state of Guerrero, where Acapulco lies, said national civil protection chief Luis Felipe Puente.
Six more people died in the central states of Hidalgo and Puebla and one in the southern state of Oaxaca. Guerrero state officials reported six deaths in a road accident, but Puente did not include them in his account.
Around 50 towns were affected in Guerrero, with some 238,000 people enduring various levels of damage in their homes, Puente said.
The highway linking Acapulco to Mexico City was closed due to landslides while the tourist town’s airport was shut down, with some 100 people stranded on the terminal’s second floor.
With waters rising as high as three feet in some neighbourhoods, soldiers used boats to pluck around 100 people who took refuge on upper floors or the roofs of homes. The flooding brought out crocodiles, complicating the rescue work, officials said. Those rescued were taken to an auditorium that was converted into a shelter. AFP