Tue | Mar 20, 2018

40 killed by mudslides, new storm aims for Baja

Published:Tuesday | August 9, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Mexican soldiers remove debris from the remains of a house flattened by a mudslide in Xaltepec, on the mountainous north of Puebla state, Mexico, on Sunday. The death toll from the remnants of Hurricane Earl grows to more than 30 in Mexico as a new tropical storm forms off the country’s Pacific Coast.


Tropical Storm Javier pushed closer to the resort city of Cabo San Lucas on the tip of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula yesterday, while the death toll from former Hurricane Earl rose to 40 in the country's eastern mountains.

Communities in two states were digging out from weekend mudslides during heavy rains brought by remnants of Earl, which slammed into Mexico's Gulf Coast.

The centre said "heavy rains (are) beginning to spread over southern Baja California" from the storm.

Javier was moving northwest, on a path that could take it inland further up the peninsula tomorrow.

Authorities in Cabo San Lucas prepared 10 storm shelters, mostly at local schools, for families who live in low-lying areas. The resort was closed to navigation, and some owners of smaller fishing boats could be seen pulling them on to shore and hauling them away on trailers.

A hurricane warning was in effect for the southern tip of Baja California. A hurricane watch and tropical storm warning were in effect for parts of the peninsula farther north.

Among the casualties of Earl, at least 29 people died in multiple mudslides in the mountainous north of Puebla state, said state Interior Secretary Diodoro Carrasco. He said that an amount of rainfall equivalent to an entire month of normal precipitation fell in one night in some areas.

Of the victims, 25 were killed in different parts of the township of Huauchinango and three died in the hamlet of Tlaola.

"It is a tragedy what has happened to our people in Huauchinango," said Gabriel Alvarado, the township's mayor.

In neighbouring Veracruz state, 11 people lost their lives when mudslides hit the towns of Coscomatepec, Tequila and Huayacocotla, Governor Javier Duarte said.