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September 19, 2013

Death Toll Rises Across Mexico from Twin Coastal Storms

by VOA News

Mexican officials say 58 people are missing after a massive landslide triggered by one of the two huge storms that have devastated the country on both its coasts.

The landslide struck the village of La Pintada, located west of the Pacific coast resort city of Acapulco. The mayor of Atoyac de Alvarez, a municipality that oversees La Pintada, told reporters that at least 15 bodies have been pulled out of the rubble.

The death toll across Mexico has risen to 80 after massive flooding and landslides triggered by Hurricane Ingrid on the eastern Gulf coast and the storm named Manuel on the Pacific coast. Manuel was upgraded Wednesday from a tropical storm to a hurricane, and is currently on a path towards the state of Sinaloa, where it is expected to produce between 12 and 25 centimeters of rain.

The Mexican army and commercial airlines have managed to evacuate more than 5,000 of the 40,000 tourists left stranded in Acapulco, where Manuel has left the streets and airport terminals inundated by knee-high floodwater.

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

Ingrid struck Mexico's Gulf coast with high winds and torrential rains. Helicopters were used to carry residents to safety. The state-run oil company, Pemex, evacuated three oil platforms and halted drilling at some wells.