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

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Yearsi
X
December 18, 2014 5:13 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Years

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

US Expects January Talks With Cuba

Meeting, that was originally a periodic review of Cuba-US migration, will now include talks on restoring diplomatic relations
More

Brazil's Rousseff Pledges to Tighten Operations at Petrobras

She urges Brazilians not to lose faith in oil producer, which is mired in a corruption scandal
More

US-Cuba Trade Could Grow Significantly

Analysts say US exports to Cuba could eventually hit $5.9 billion annually, while Havana's exports to the US could reach $6.7 billion
More

UK Gives Falklands Medal for Argentine War Role

Announcement likely to anger Argentine government, which claims islands as its own
More

Vatican Mediation in US-Cuba Relations Applauded

Statement confirmed that Vatican diplomats facilitated talks between two countries, 'resulting in solutions acceptable to both parties'
More

Latin America Welcomes Obama's Move to Restore US-Cuba Ties

Regional leaders say initiative would further ease ideological battle that has divided Americas for decades
More