News / Americas

    Looting Hits Acapulco as Mexico Floods Squeeze Supplies

    People carry looted goods as they walk through a flooded street in Acapulco, Sept. 18, 2013.
    People carry looted goods as they walk through a flooded street in Acapulco, Sept. 18, 2013.
    Reuters
    Looting broke out in the flooded Mexican beach resort of Acapulco as the government on Wednesday struggled to reach tens of thousands of people cut off by some of the worst storm damage in decades.
     
    Stores were ransacked by looters who carried off everything from televisions to Christmas decorations, after floodwaters wreaked havoc in the Pacific port that has borne the brunt of torrential rains that have killed at least 57 people across Mexico.
     
    Tens of thousands of people have been trapped in the aftermath of two tropical storms that hammered vast swaths of Mexico. More than one million people have been affected, and Acapulco's airport terminal was under water.
     
    Shops were plundered in the upscale neighborhood of Diamante, home to luxury hotels and plush apartments, where dozens of cars were ruined by muddy brown floodwaters. Marines were posted outside stores to prevent further theft.
     
    “Unfortunately, it wasn't looting from need of food, it was stealing for stealing's sake,” said Mariberta Medina, head of a local hoteliers' association. “They even stole Halloween and Christmas decorations and an outboard motor.”

    • People swim in flood waters in Culiacan, Mexico, Sept. 19, 2013.
    • A view of houses destroyed after a mudslide in the village of La Pintada, in the Mexican state of Guerrero, Sept. 19, 2013.
    • People move furniture through a flooded street in Tixtla, Mexico, Sept. 19, 2013.
    • People wade through waist-high water in a store's parking, looking for valuables, south of Acapulco, in Punta Diamante, Mexico, Sept. 18, 2013.
    • A man uses a makeshift zip line to cross a river after a bridge collapsed under the force of the rains caused by Tropical Storm Manuel near the town of Petaquillas, Mexico, Sept. 18, 2013.
    • Cars are parked in a flooded lot of the airport in Acapulco, Sept. 18, 2013.
    • A woman carries a child while walking through a flooded neighborhood in Acapulco, Sept. 18, 2013. 
    • People stand in a house flooded by mud after a mountain landslide in Altotonga in Veracruz state, along Mexico's Gulf coast, Sept. 16, 2013. 
    • Soldiers search for survivors after a bus and two nearby houses were buried by a mountain landslide in Altotonga in Veracruz state, along Mexico's Gulf coast, Sept. 16, 2013.
    • A small chapel is engulfed in rock and mud from a landslide brought on by Tropical Storm Manuel's heavy rains on the outskirts of Acapulco, Mexico, Sept. 16, 2013.
    • In this photo released by Mexico's presidential press office, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto meets with people affected by Tropical Storm Manuel in the Pacific coast city of Acapulco, Mexico, Sept. 16, 2013.
    • People carry the belongings they were able to take after a landslide caused by heavy rains caused by Tropical Storm Manuel destroyed their homes in Chilpancingo, Guerrero state, Mexico, Sept. 16, 2013.
    • People look for bodies and salvage belongings after heavy rains triggered a landslide in a low income neighborhood in the city of Chilpancingo, Guerrero state, Mexico, Sept. 16, 2013.

    The rains were spawned by two tropical storms, Ingrid and Manuel, that converged on Mexico from the Pacific and the Gulf, triggering flash floods that washed away homes and caused landslides in eastern Mexico.
     
    Manuel strengthened to a tropical storm again on the Pacific coast on Wednesday, moving northwest toward the Baja California peninsula, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
     
    Meanwhile, another area of low pressure over Mexico's Yucatan peninsula had a 70 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours and it was likely to dump more heavy rains across an area already hit by floods and mudslides.
     
    State oil monopoly Pemex evacuated three oil platforms and halted drilling at some wells. A Pemex official said its refining operations had not been affected and that the company had seven days worth of inventory.
     
    The transport ministry said all export terminals were open.
     
    Since the weekend, the rains have pummeled the states of Veracruz, Guerrero, Puebla, Hidalgo, Michoacan and Oaxaca, according to regional emergency services.
     
    Landslides have buried homes and a bus in the eastern state of Veracruz. Thousands were evacuated from flooded areas, some by helicopter, and taken to shelters.
     
    Stranded tourists salvaged belongings from submerged cars in the Mexican beach resort of Acapulco which had become a floodplain on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013.Stranded tourists salvaged belongings from submerged cars in the Mexican beach resort of Acapulco which had become a floodplain on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013.
    x
    Stranded tourists salvaged belongings from submerged cars in the Mexican beach resort of Acapulco which had become a floodplain on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013.
    Stranded tourists salvaged belongings from submerged cars in the Mexican beach resort of Acapulco which had become a floodplain on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013.
    Acapulco struggled to dig out of a three-day downpour which has submerged vast areas of city of 750,000 people, choked its palm-lined streets with mud, and stranded some 40,000 visitors.
     
    Food and bottled water were scarce, as was cash because power outages knocked out bank machines.
     
    “We waited for more than hour to get into a shop and only managed to get instant soup, some tins of tuna and two cartons of milk,” said Clemencia Santana Garcia, 45, who hawks goods on Acapulco's beaches. “This is going to get ugly.”
     
    President Enrique Pena Nieto ordered a house-by-house check on people's safety in Guerrero and the government said it had 6.3 billion pesos ($490 million) in emergency funds available.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    More Americas News

    Venezuelan President Raises Minimum Wage

    President Nicolas Maduro's announcement of a 30 percent increase in minimum wage comes as country is experiencing rampant inflation and economic stagnation

    Rescue Operation Brings Circus Lions from Peru to S. Africa

    Animal rights group rescued more than 30 lions from abuse at circuses in Peru and Colombia, flew them to South Africa Friday in what it called largest-ever airlift of lions

    Venezuela's Top Beer Maker Halts Output in Dispute with Government

    President threatened earlier in week to seize any plants halted by private companies and hand them over to workers

    US Reports Its First Zika-Related Death

    Puerto Rican man in his 70s died from internal bleeding related to rare immune reaction to Zika virus infection in February

    Rio Olympic Flame Visits UN Office in Geneva

    Flame, which was lit in Greece last week, was brought to UN for first time before it heads to Brazil for torch relay ahead of opening ceremony in Rio on Aug. 5

    Britain Foreign Secretary Visits Cuba for First Time in Nearly 60 Years

    Philip Hammond signed several cooperation agreements on energy, education and financial services