Tropical cyclones ravage both of Mexico's coasts, leaving at least 47 dead
Twin storms left scenes of havoc on both of Mexico's coasts on Tuesday, with tens of thousands of tourists stranded in resort city of Acapulco on the Pacific and heavy damage reported along the Gulf coast.
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They group was staying at the Copacabana Hotel and by Sunday they were unable to leave the hotel because of the rain.Skip to next paragraph
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The main coastal boulevard was open Tuesday and most hotels appeared to have power, water and food. But that was little consolation to those unable to leave Acapulco.
"It's probably one of the worst holidays I've ever been on," said David Jefferson Gled, a 28-year-old English teacher at Greengates School. "It wasn't really a holiday, more of an incarceration."
Military officials said there would be 17 flights on Tuesday. Nine planes and five helicopters shuttling back and forth between Mexico City and this air force base.
The situation was far more serious in the city's low-income periphery, where steep hills funneled rainwater into neighborhoods of cinderblock houses.
City officials said about 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 basic goods. Landslides and flooding damaged an unknown number of homes.
Natividad Gallegos said she returned Monday from shopping to find her house in a poor Acapulco neighborhood buried by a landslide that killed six members of her family, including her two children. "I saw a lot of strangers with picks and shovels, digging where my house used to be," she said, weeping.
The coastal town of Coyuca de Benitez and beach resorts further west of Acapulco, including Ixtapa and Zihuatenejo, were cut off after a river washed out a bridge on the main coastal highway.
Marcela Higuera, who runs a bread stall in the Coyuca market, said the only aid that had arrived so far was a helicopter that rescued stranded flood victims.
"Flour's already run out. There isn't any in Coyuca," she said, adding that the Coyuca River had swept away the bridge and riverside restaurants, and flooded low-lying neighborhoods. "This is the worst storm that I've seen."
"There are hundreds of people in shelters and they're begging for clothes and blankets because everything they have is wet," Higuera said. "They had to leave without taking anything."
Remnants of Manuel continued to drench Mexico further up the Pacific coast and the U.S. National Hurricane Center said it was expected to become a tropical storm by Tuesday night or Wednesday morning near resorts at the tip of the Baja California Peninsula.
One of the biggest single death tolls was reported in the Gulf Coast state of Veracruz, where 12 people died when a landslide smashed into a bus traveling through the town of Altotonga, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) northwest of the state capital.
More than 23,000 people fled their homes in Veracruz state due to heavy rains spawned by Ingrid, and 9,000 went to emergency shelters. At least 20 highways and 12 bridges were damaged, the state's civil protection authority said.
(Associated Press writers Jose Antonio Rivera in Acapulco and Mark Stevenson and E. Eduardo Castillo inMexico City contributed to this story.)
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