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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

More Americas News

US, Cuba Teams Discuss Telecommunications Issues

US delegation visited Cuba this week as the two nations continued efforts to restore diplomatic relations broken over 50 years ago
More

Egyptian Court Adjourns Trial of Al Jazeera Journalists to April 22

Two journalists are charged with aiding a terrorist organization, a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt banned following 2013 army takeover
More

Rio Exhibition Dramatizes Olympian Bay Cleanup Task

Display highlights problem of trash in Guanabara Bay, where sailing, windsurfing events are to take place in next Summer Games
More

Chile Says Drought Permanent, Lays Out Water Plan

President Michelle Bachelet says government will invest in desalinization plants and reservoirs to ensure access to potable water
More

Poll: Venezuelan Leader's Popularity Inches Up to 25%

Rise comes after United States declared Venezuela a security threat and ordered sanctions against seven officials
More

High Winds, Drought Feed Chilean Forest Fires

Blazes have ravaged swaths of China Muerta and Nalca Lolco reserves and Conguillio national park, revered for its ancient forests
More