Thursday, 19 September 2013

58 missing in landslide from Mexican storm

Mexico's Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said Wednesday that at least 58 people are missing in a mountain village where many homes were buried by a landslide unleashed by a Tropical Storm Manuel, which has strengthened into a hurricane.

Osorio Chong said rescue crews have evacuated 344 people from La Pintada village, many of them with injuries.

He said Wednesday night another 45 will be flown out of the area Thursday.

The toll from devastating twin storms in Mexico had already climbed to 80 as isolated areas reported deaths and damage.

The new Hurricane Manuel could hit Mexico's northwestern coast overnight. It would be a third blow to a country still reeling from the one-two punch of Manuel's first landfall and Hurricane Ingrid on Mexico's eastern coast.

Sinaloa state civil protection authorities said some areas were already flooding in the towns of Escuinapa, El Rosario and Mazatlan. At least 60 families were evacuated from the fishing village of Yameto, in the Sinaloan town of Navolato, authorities said. The affected area is a sparsely populated stretch of fishing villages.

Federal authorities reached the cutoff village of La Pintada by helicopter and airlifted out 35 residents, four of whom were seriously injured in the slide, said l Osorio Chong. Officials have not yet seen any bodies, he said, despite reports from people in the area that at least 15 people had been killed.

“It doesn't look good, based on the photos we have in our possession,” Osorio Chong said. "You can see that it hit a lot of houses.”

Mayor Ediberto Tabares of the township of Atoyac told Milenio television late Wednesday that 15 bodies had been recovered there and possibly many more remained buried in the remote mountain village. Tabares told the same television station earlier in the day that 18 bodies had been found.

Atoyac, a largely rural township about 42 miles west of Acapulco, is accessible only by a highway broken multiple times by landslides and flooding.

Ricardo de la Cruz, a spokesman for the federal Department of Civil Protection, said the death toll had risen to 80 from 60 earlier in the day, although he did not provide details.

In Acapulco, three days of Biblical rain and leaden skies evaporated into broiling late-summer sunshine that roasted thousands of furious tourists trying vainly to escape the city, and hundreds of thousands of residents returning to homes devastated by reeking tides of brown floodwater.

Hundreds of residents of Acapulco's poor outlying areas slogged through waist-high water to pound on the closed shutters of a looted Costco, desperate for food, drinking water and other basics.

Many paused and fished in the murky waters for anything of value piling waterlogged clothing and empty aluminum cans into plastic bags.

Thursday 19 September 2013,0,7109058.story


Post a Comment