Hurricane Ingrid-Tropical Storm Manuel combo kills 20 in Mexico
Tropical Storm Manuel blasted Mexico’s Pacific coast while Hurricane Ingrid crept towards the eastern states, triggering rain, landslides and floods that killed at least 20 people.
Thousands of people were evacuated as the two storms flanked Mexico on the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico, causing rivers to overflow, flooding streets and damaging bridges.
State-run energy firm Pemex evacuated three oil platforms off the Gulf coast of the northeastern state of Tamaulipas and shut down 24 wells, the company said on its Twitter account.
On the west coast, Manuel weakened after making landfall near the Colima state town of Manzanillo but it still threatened to spark flash floods and mudslides, the US National Hurricane Center said.
Its top winds slowed to 40 miles (65 kilometers) per hour as it moved northwest and the storm was expected to dissipate on Monday.
The dual storms were blamed for at least 20 deaths in the southwestern state of Guerrero and six in the central states of Puebla and Hidalgo, officials said.
In Guerrero, more than 2,000 people left their homes while 21,000 households were without power, state civil protection official Constantino Gonzales Vargas told AFP.
Six people were killed 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 on Saturday, he said.
Six others died in landslides and the collapse of walls in three Guerrero towns. Two more people drowned when they were swept away by a swollen river in the state capital Chilpancingo.
Water rose as high as three feet (one meter) in parts of Acapulco, dragging cars away, while the road leading to the international airport’s terminal was closed.
The city’s port was shut to navigation. Two men who sailed away were reported missing.
As Hurricane Ingrid lumbered toward the east coast, three people, including a 16-year-old boy, were killed in a landslide in Tlatlauquitepec, a mountain town in the central state of Puebla.
In the central state of Hidalgo, a nurse and her driver drowned when their car was swept away by an overflowing river as they headed to a mountain area heavily affected by days of rain, civil protection officials said.
Another woman died when a landslide struck her home.
Officials canceled independence day celebrations in several towns of the state of Tamaulipas.
The category one hurricane had already forced the evacuation of 6,000 people in the east coast state of Veracruz after two rivers overflowed their banks.
The US National Hurricane Center said in its latest advisory that Ingrid was slowing down “as it makes a jog to the northwest,” while its outer rain bands were moving onshore.
The hurricane, packing maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour, could slightly strengthen on Monday before making landfall.
The storm’s center was about 125 miles east of Tampico and moving at 3 miles per hour.
The forecasters also said Ingrid was expected to trigger a storm surge of as much as four feet, with “large and destructive waves.”