by MEGAN ROMANCZUK Section Editor
Two hurricanes wreaked havoc in Mexico by killing 80 people, damaging or destroyed 35,00 homes, and leaving 40,000 tourists stranded.
Tropical storm Manuel hit the west coast while his twin Ingrid wrecked the east side. However, Manuel came back as a level one hurricane, destroying more of Mexico.
Hurricane Ingrid killed three people, including a 16-year-old boy. Others were killed in a landslide in Tlatlauquitepec, a mountain in the central state of Puebla.
Manuel hit Mexico’s coast early Thursday and was expected to produce 75 mph winds, as well as five to 10 inches of rain over the state of Sinaloa. Manuel unleashed floods that brought as much as three feet of water in the Pacific resort of Acapulco, dragging away cars and forcing residents to sit on top of their homes for safety.
The Mexican government said the country has not seen a similar weather crisis since 1958 when the country was simultaneously hit by two tropical storms, also on separate coasts.
A huge mudslide covered more than half of another town in dirt, burying homes, schools, and churches. The mudslide collapsed highway bridges, including a major four-lane expressway that links Acapulco to Mexico City. At least 20 people are still trapped, and others are either dead or cannot be found.
In La Pintada, emergency workers tried to evacuate the last survivors, and dug through the rubble for bodies. Four hundred surviving residents were resting on Thursday on foam mats on the floor of Acapulco’s convention center. Children napped and played while parents had to rebuild their lives over again.
“It’s sad that Mexico is being destroyed by twin storms and the damages don’t even compare to what we had to go through with Sandy,” says senior Lisa Sowinski.
State oil monopoly Pemex said they had dispatched technicians to fix a ruptured 12-inch oil pipeline from the Gulf port of Mexico on Madera island to Cadereyta. The pipeline was damaged when the Pablillo River’s banks burst due to heavy rains.
In Acapulco, state police guarded the entrance to a flooded Costco store after people started taking shopping carts full of food, clothing, and other “free” items. Some people even became so desperate they were walking around parking lots trying to find any sort of food or soda just keep themselves from starving. Cargo ships have been contacted to bring a supply of food to the isolated city by sea.
“Mexico is my favorite vacation spot and its sad to see what was destroyed over the past week. I hope they can rebuild and get over this bump in the road quickly,” says junior Nicole Cohen.
Two of Mexico’s largest airlines were running two flights an hour from a flooded international airport in Acapulco for those who had tickets, the elderly, and families with young children.
As the cost of flooding continues to escalate, the finance ministry said it had around around 12 billion pesos ($925.60 million) available in emergency funding. The storm damages come after the government had already slashed its growth forecast for the Mexican economy this year to 1.8 percent.