Floods and mudslides ravage Mexico
Twin storms Manuel and Ingrid pounded both of Mexico’s coasts last week resulting in devastating floods and landslides. Though the death toll stood at 101 as of Sunday, but was expected to rise to as high as 170 as rescue efforts continue.
Those efforts have mostly taken the form of the recovery of dead bodies in the coffee growing village of La Pintada, which was hit hard by mudslides, burying victims under a deluge of earth.
From the Associated Press:
Interior secretary Miguel Osorio Chong told Mexican media the death toll could go as high as 200 in the coming days, nearing that of Hurricane Paulina, which hit the same Guerrero state in 1997 and caused one of Mexico’s worst storm disasters.
Houses were filled to their roofs with dirt, and vehicles were tossed on their sides when the hillside collapsed on Monday afternoon, after several days of rain brought by Tropical Storm Manuel, which along with Hurricane Ingrid gave Mexico a one-two punch.
Though obviously an act of nature, public opinion in Mexico has been highly critical of how prepared the government is for such events, though some sources have praised how fast the government has responded to the disaster.
Acapulco is a symbol of the lack of urban planning and the absence of a culture of preventing disasters.
–Gerardo Esquivel, professor, Colegio de México
What [the public] wants are prompt and efficient responses. We’re fatalistic in the country and like to believe that in the heavens the dice are loaded against us.
–Federico Estévez, political science professor, Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico
[quotes via the Christian Science Monitor]
Survivors from La Pintada have been sheltering 140km (87 mile) southeast of their ruined town in Acapulco, a city that did not escape the wrath of the storms, as the below video from ITN demonstrates. Flooding from a lagoon even washed a crocodile into the streets of the famous resort city.