Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Towards a third intifada?

Read more

FOCUS

What solutions for California's overcrowded prisons?

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Gaza conflict: Palestinians mark sombre Eid

Read more

WEB NEWS

Celebrities in the Israel-Gaza crossfire

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Israeli strike takes out Gaza power station

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French newspaper apologises for Sarkozy story

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Last-ditch talks aim to avert Argentina default

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin: Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin: Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions?

Read more

  • Israel announces four-hour truce after deadly strike on UN school

    Read more

  • Suspect in Jewish Museum attack charged with 'terrorist' murder

    Read more

  • US rebounds to 4% growth in second quarter

    Read more

  • Women should not laugh in public, Turkey's deputy PM says

    Read more

  • Video: Coping with rocket attacks in Israel’s Sderot

    Read more

  • Rats on the rampage at Louvre museum gardens

    Read more

  • France evacuates nationals, closes embassy in Libya

    Read more

  • Scores trapped as landslide hits Indian village

    Read more

  • Dozens killed in stampede at Guinea rap concert

    Read more

  • US and EU slap Russia with fresh sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • 'Compelling' signs Kosovo leaders trafficked organs, prosecutor says

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Islamists seize key Benghazi army base as fire rages on

    Read more

  • In pictures: ن - a sign of support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians

    Read more

Americas

Mexico tropical storm death toll tops 100

© Photo: AFP

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-09-21

The number of people killed by violent storms in Mexico has now reached 101, officials said Friday, while 68 people are still missing after a landslide partially buried the remote mountain village of La Pintada near the country’s Pacific coast.

More than 100 people have been killed and scores are missing in landslides and flooding caused by heavy rain in Mexico, a senior government official said late Friday.

Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong delivered the grim news from the resort town of Acapulco, in one of the worst-affected regions, with President Enrique Pena Nieto by his side.

The death toll stood at 101, with 68 people missing following a massive mudslide that swallowed half of the village of La Pintada, in Guerrero state, Osorio Chong said.

Mexico was hammered by the one-two punch of tropical storms Ingrid and Manuel, which left a trail of destruction that damaged tens of thousands of homes, flooded cities and washed out roads.

After regenerating into a hurricane and hitting the northwestern state of Sinaloa late Thursday, affecting 100,000 people and killing three, Manuel finally dissipated over the mountains.

The state of Guerrero was the hardest hit, with at least 65 deaths and its Pacific resort of Acapulco left isolated after the two roads to Mexico City were covered in landslides on Sunday.

Osorio Chong also said that authorities are searching for a police helicopter that had been evacuating people from La Pintada when it disappeared Thursday. Only crew members were apparently missing.

Rescuers have abandoned the search by air because of heavy fog, but have continued to search by land, Osorio Chong said.

"We are really worried," the minister earlier told Radio Formula. "They risked their lives all the time, because it was important to evacuate people."

'Thank God we're leaving'

Thousands of tourists trapped in flood-stricken Acapulco for almost a week packed into cars and buses on Friday after authorities reopened the road link to Mexico City following the storms.

Traffic piled up as police allowed cars to leave in groups of 50 to avoid huge backups on the "Sun Highway."

The highway department warned travelers that the trip north, which usually takes around four hours, would last nine to 10 hours, with only a single lane open in some stretches and a diversion to another road.

"Thank God we're leaving, even if there is traffic," said Imelda Cuellar Ramirez, a Mexican holidaymaker who was driving out with eight relatives.

More than 40,000 tourists, mostly Mexicans seeking sun during a three-day holiday weekend, were left stranded when the storms struck five days ago.

Half the city was flooded, while rising waters brought out crocodiles. Looters ransacked stores.

Around 24,000 tourists left in airlifts organized by the military and commercial carriers, but tempers flared as they stood in long lines to get one of the precious seats.

Thousands of frustrated tourists sheltered at the convention center blocked an avenue for half an hour late Thursday in protest against the slow pace of the airlift.

Waiting to board a bus, Alejandro Tubias, a Mexico City resident, said it was high time to leave after his wife contracted a stomach bug that they blamed on the lack of drinking water.

"We are more than happy. We are in a hurry to go because my wife is sick and because we don't have any money to pay the hotel room," he said.

More than 4,000 tourists left on 105 buses on Friday, officials said.

Many dead

While tourists drove out of Acapulco, hundreds of troops and civil protection workers dug with shovels and pickaxes in La Pintada, the coffee-growing village west of Acapulco swamped by a massive mudslide.

Officially, 68 people are missing in the village and two people were killed -- their bodies were pulled out of the debris -- but villagers fear that scores have perished.

"I think there's a lot of dead. A lot of my relatives died, they're buried and we can't do anything," said farmer Diego Zeron.

The mud collapsed on the village of 400 people during independence day celebrations last Monday, swallowing homes, a school and church before crashing into the river.

The soldiers and civil protection workers, many wearing surgical masks, removed pieces of broken homes and chopped up fallen trees with machetes.

Helicopters evacuated more than 330 villagers to Acapulco, but a few families decided to stay back, waiting for news on the missing.

(AFP)

Date created : 2013-09-20

  • MEXICO - FLOODS

    Thousands of tourists airlifted out of Acapulco

    Read more

  • MEXICO

    Deadly storms batter Mexico on both coasts

    Read more

COMMENT(S)