Hurricanes leave 101 dead, 68 missing in Mexico

Updated: 2013-09-21 17:48


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MEXICO CITY - Two hurricanes devastating Mexico recently along the coasts of the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific have left at least 101 people dead and 68 missing, a minister said Friday.

Around 1.2 million people from 24 of all the 32 states were affected by the two hurricanes, Manuel and Ingrid, and 58,000 people were still living in shelters, Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said.

This was the first time since 1958 that two storms hit both coasts of Mexico from the Pacific and the Atlantic respectively within 24 hours, bringing heavy rains that caused flooding and landslide.

Storm Manuel, which briefly turned into a hurricane on Thursday, lashed the northern state of Sinaloa with strong wind and rain, affecting more than 100,000 people in 90 communities, state governor Mario Lopez Valdez said.

Hurricane Ingrid was leaving some 50 communities cut off in the central state of San Luis Potosi.

In La Pintada, a mountain village in the southern state of Guerrero that witnessed a massive landslide on Wednesday, 68 people remained missing on Friday and most of them were presumably dead, local authorities said.

Rescue workers were still digging through tons of mud and dirt to search for survivors, as authorities were trying to search for a missing helicopter with three crew members on board.

The federal police helicopter evacuating people from this flood-stricken region disappeared Thursday, federal security spokesman Eduardo Sanchez said.

The United States National Hurricane Center said although Manuel was losing strength, the weather condition would remain poor in the days to come as a third storm was forecast.

Meanwhile, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto canceled his planned trip to the UN headquarters in New York next week in order to focus on relief efforts.