Mexico death toll from tropical storms climbs to 47
MEXICO STORMS -1st lead-
Mexico City, Sep 17 (EFE). The Mexican government confirmed Tuesday that the death toll left by torrential rains, landslides and damage to infrastructures caused by Tropical Storms Ingrid and Manuel has climbed to 47.
The two tropical systems hit Mexico simultaneously last weekend and now, though they have lost strength, heavy downpours continue in several parts of the country.
Police and the armed forces have evacuated 39,000 people in various regions, of whom 23,000 are now in shelters, Government Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said.
The worst damage up to now has been done in the southern state of Guerrero, particularly at the Pacific coast resort of Acapulco, and in Veracruz on the Gulf coast.
The arrival of Manuel, a Pacific storm, and Ingrid, which formed in the Gulf, marked the first time since 1958 that Mexico's Gulf and Pacific coasts were simultaneously slammed by tropical systems.
A total of 1.2 million people have been affected by the tropical double whammy, according to authorities.
National Meteorological Service expert Jaime Albarran told Efe that it is still too early to calculate exactly how much rain was dumped by the storms over the past 72 hours due to the difficulty of gathering data, but noted that the rain in Mexico fell on "ground that was already drenched."
In Acapulco, now inaccessible by road, Aerometico, Interjet and Aeromar airlines established Tuesday an emergency airlift to try and return to their homes tens of thousands of travelers who had been enjoying the long Mexican Independence Day weekend at the seaside resort.
The runways and control tower of Acapulco airport are operational but the passenger departure terminal remains flooded.