Mudslide buries village as Hurricane lashes MexicoAgence France-Presse . Acapulco
A resurgent hurricane lashed Mexico’s northwest coast Thursday after twin storms killed at least 80 people nationwide and buried a village under a massive mudslide, leaving dozens more missing.
Hurricane Manuel was ‘hugging’ the coast of Sinaloa with winds of 75 miles per hour, threatening to spark flash floods and landslides, the US National Hurricane Centre said.
Earlier this week, Manuel pummelled the southwestern Pacific coast with tropical storm force while Ingrid barrelled across the east in a dual onslaught unseen since 1958.
The storms damaged bridges, caused rivers to overflow and flooded half of the Pacific resort of Acapulco, stranding tens of thousands of tourists who sought airlifts while looters ransacked stores.
At 0900 GMT on Thursday, Hurricane Manuel crept up the Mexico coast at about three miles per hour, and was about 20 miles northwest of the Mexican town of Altata.
Its slow, northward trek was expected to continue for at least 24 hours, dumping as much as 15 inches of rain on the northwestern state of Sinaloa.
Authorities said Wednesday the death toll had risen to 80 across 12 of 32 states, but the body count could rise after the grim discovery of a huge mudslide in the mountains of southwestern Guerrero state.
President Enrique Pena Nieto said 58 people were missing after a ‘major landslide’ collapsed on La Pintada, a remote village of 400 people west of Acapulco.
‘We are not sure for the moment how many people are trapped under the mud,’ Pena Nieto said.
Ediberto Tabarez, the mayor of Atoyac de Alvarez, a municipality that oversees La Pintada, said by telephone that at least 15 bodies have been found after more than 20 homes were crushed.
Survivors who were evacuated to Acapulco said that villagers were having lunch during independence day celebrations on Monday when a thundering noise came from the hill.
Then the earth came crashing down on homes, the church and schools as people ran for their lives, according to survivors who were taken to a convention centre serving as a storm shelter.
Ana Clara Catalan, 17, was preparing corn tortillas when she heard a ‘loud noise.’
‘We ran out. It was an ugly noise, worse than a bomb,’ she said. ‘The school, the kindergarten and the church were lost. Everything was taken.’
News of the disaster only emerged after a survivor was able to radio someone in a neighbouring village.
‘More than half of La Pintada was demolished, few homes were left,’ said Maria del Carmen Catalan, a 27-year-old mother of three.
Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said 334 people—mostly women, children and senior citizens—were evacuated by police helicopters while 45 men would spend the night there before being rescued Thursday.
The injured were taken to a navy hospital. The minister said earlier that 14 people were hurt.
Osorio Chong held up a picture showing the mountain of earth and rock smack in the middle of the village.
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