PICS: Mexico landslides leave 40 dead as new storm forms
08 August 2016, 15:45
Puebla – Landslides triggered by Tropical Storm
Earl's remnants have killed at least 40 people in Mexico, officials said late
on Sunday, as a new storm threatened the country's Pacific coast.
Hardest-hit was the central state of Puebla, where
29 people died, including at least 15 minors, as landslides buried several
homes in the state's northern mountains, the local government said.
Another 11 died in similar circumstances in the
eastern state of Veracruz, its governor said.
Earl swept in from the Caribbean at hurricane
strength on Wednesday, striking just south of Belize's capital. It hit Mexico
as a storm on Thursday and eventually weakened to a tropical depression.
Even in its weakened state Earl carried a deadly
punch over the weekend.
In the town of Huauchinango, the amount of rain
that normally falls in a month came pouring down in just 24 hours, the Puebla
government said on Sunday.
A rain-soaked hill crumbled and came sweeping down
on an adjacent village, killing 11 people including eight minors, it said.
Several highways in Puebla were ripped up, two
bridges collapsed and power was knocked out in several towns.
Governor Rafael Moreno Valle pledged to rebuild
damaged structures and posted on Twitter photos of himself walking in mud and
residents helping in clean-up efforts.
By late Sunday Moreno Valle warned that the death
toll could rise.
"We're still in a search mode and we already
have canine teams... searching for missing people," he said.
Puebla officials did not say how many people were
missing, but they did say that the landslides and flooding left some 200 people
In the state of Veracruz, 11 people were killed due
to landslides and flooding, Governor Javier Duarte wrote on Twitter.
The dead included an elderly man who was swept away
in his home by a rain-swollen river, officials said.
Some 1 200 people were moved to shelters across
Veracruz due to effects of the storm, officials said.
Javier on its way
By Monday, however, it was approaching Tropical
Storm Javier that was sparking new warnings.
Javier, which could strengthen to hurricane status
by Monday afternoon, was expected to bring heavy rains and high winds to
southwestern Mexico in the coming days, US weather forecasters said.
The Miami-based National Hurricane Center said
Javier was about 405km southwest of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
"On the forecast track, the centre of the
tropical cyclone should pass near or over the southwest coast of Mexico later
today, and approach the southern portion of the Baja California peninsula on
Monday," the centre said.
The storm was packing maximum sustained winds of 85km/h
with higher gusts and was expected to dump 10 to 15 cm of rain in western
Mexico, it said.
Mexican forecasters warned of swollen rivers, heavy
rain, choppy waves and flooding due to Javier.
Another tropical storm, Ivette, also was swirling
in the eastern Pacific, but it was far from land and expected to weaken later
in the day, according to the NHC.