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Montevideo, March 24th 2023 - 08:41 UTC



Agatha leaves at least 11 dead at Mexican Pacific resorts

Thursday, June 2nd 2022 - 07:25 UTC
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The Mexican Caribbean is also bracing for some rough weather The Mexican Caribbean is also bracing for some rough weather

After entering history books as the most powerful hurricane to make landfall in Mexico's Pacific coasts during May, Wednesday's reports from the area mention at least 11 fatalities and at least 33 others missing, according to Oaxaca Gov. Alejandro Murat.

 The eye of the storm reached Oaxaca, Mexico, on Monday afternoon as a powerful Category 2 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 165 kilometers per hour (105 mph), but quickly lost strength as it moved inland.

Murat said the toll included children. First, he mentioned 10 dead, and later he updated the figure.

After Agatha, communities of the Coast and Sierra Sur of Oaxaca were devastated. Rivers and streams flooded homes, hurricane strong winds destroyed roofs and everything in its way.

The storm dissipated in the afternoon, but both the U.S. National Hurricane Center and Mexican authorities warned that heavy rainfall could cause dangerous flash flooding in Mexico's southern states. Murat asked the population to remain alert for possible new overflows and landslides.

The town of San Isidro del Palmar, a few kilometers from the coast, was flooded by the Tonameca River. Residents dodged the neck-deep waters to save what items they could from their homes, walking cautiously with piles of clothes on their heads and religious figures in their arms.

Santa María Tonameca was one of the municipalities on the coast to suffer the most damage from Agatha.

Intense rainfall and a strong swell hit the tourist towns of Zipolite, known for its nudist beaches and surfing, and Mazunte, another popular beach with a bohemian atmosphere that on Tuesday was beginning to remove mud from restaurants and clean fallen roofs, most of them made of palm trees.

Agatha, the strongest hurricane to hit Mexico’s Pacific coast in the month of May since record-keeping began in 1949, made landfall as a category two hurricane Monday bringing torrential rainfall that caused rivers to overflow and mountainsides to rapidly erode. It slammed a stretch of small beach towns and fishing villages and moved inland to Oaxaca’s mountain regions, where it lost much of its strength.

More than 40,000 people statewide were hit by the storm, Murat said. Many have lost power or seen their homes destroyed. Most of the 11 victims were either buried in landslides or drowned in flash floods they were swept away with, according to reports.

In addition to Agatha, forecasters said a large area of thunderstorms along the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula has a 70% chance of developing into a tropical depression in the next 48 hours.

Categories: Environment, Latin America.

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