Mexican storm strands thousands of tourists

Tens of thousands of tourists have been stranded in the Mexican resort city of Acapulco by floods brought on by a tropical storm.

Mexican storm strands thousands of tourists

Tens of thousands of tourists have been stranded in the Mexican resort city of Acapulco by floods brought on by a tropical storm.

The airport was flooded and roads blocked by landslides and water caused by Tropical Storm Manuel. While many hotels were operating normally, outlying neighbourhoods of the Pacific Ocean city of more than 800,000 were without water or power service.

The Guerrero state government said 40,000 tourists were stuck in the city, while the head of the local chamber of business owners said reports from hotels indicated the number could be as high as 60,000.

Many emerged from their hotels for the first time Tuesday morning after days of pelting rain.

“We realized the extent of the disaster for the first time because we were closed in and only saw rain and flooding,” said Alejandra Vadillo Martinez, a 24-year-old from Mexico City who was staying with seven relatives in the Crowne Plaza hotel overlooking the Bay of Acapulco.

“We’ve realized that it was a mistake to come to Acapulco because all we saw was rain, rain, rain,” said Guadalupe Hernandez, a 55-year-old housewife from Mexico City.

The situation was far more serious on the low-income periphery of the city, where steep hills funnel rainwater into neighbourhoods of breezeblock houses.

City officials said 23,000 homes, mostly on Acapulco’s outskirts, were without electricity and water. Stores were nearly emptied by residents who rushed to stock up on basics as the scale of the storm damage became clear.

Meanwhile Mexico’s Gulf Coast states were trying to recover from Hurricane Ingrid, which drove tens of thousands of people from their homes and blocked roads.

The Mexican government said the country had not seen a similar weather crisis since 1958, when it was simultaneously hit by two tropical storms, also on separate coasts.

The governor of the Gulf Coast state of Veracruz announced that 12 people died when a landslide smashed into a bus travelling through the town of Altotonga, about 40 miles from the state capital.

More than 23,000 people fled their homes in the state due to heavy rains spawned by Ingrid, and 9,000 went to emergency shelters. At least 20 roads and 12 bridges had been damaged, the state’s civil protection authority said.

More in this section

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox