Hurricane-Triggered Mudslide Buries Mexican Town; Dozens Missing

Hurricane-Triggered Mudslide Buries Mexican Town; Dozens Missing

MEXICO CITY, Sept. 19 (UPI) — Hurricane Manuel pounded Mexico’s Pacific coast, triggering a mudslide that buried homes and left dozens of people missing, the country’s president said.

At least 58 people were missing in Atoyac de Alvarez, Mexican President Enrique Pena-Nieto told reporters Wednesday, describing the scene as “catastrophic.”

The mayor of Atoyac de Alvarez told CNN Mexico the bodies of 15 people were recovered and at least 70 people were trapped under mud that oozed into 20 homes.

Manuel, which strengthened into a hurricane Wednesday evening, was one of three storms that wreaked havoc on Mexico, killing at least 80 people and dumping rain on both of Mexico’s coasts, the Interior Ministry said.

In the Pacific resort city of Acapulco, thousands of tourists were stranded. The Mexican army and commercial airlines have evacuated more than 5,000 tourists after Manuel flooded streets and airport terminals, Voice of America said.

Officials say Manuel has caused nearly $400 million in damage.

Police were guarding businesses and grocery stores from looters, El Universal reported.

While Manuel slogged in the Pacific, a low pressure area on the gulf side — the remnants of Hurricane Ingrid — buffeted the coastal states of Tamaulipas and Veracruz, officials said.

On the Yucatan Peninsula, another area of low pressure had a 70 percent chance of strengthening into a tropical cyclone within 48 hours, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

More than 1 million residents across Mexico were affected in some manner by the storms, Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said.

Pena-Nieto said he would consider postponing or canceling a trip next week to New York to attend the U.N. General Assembly session.