Dual storm front: 15 dead as tropical storm and hurricane batter Mexico
Published Sunday, September 15, 2013 10:14AM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, September 15, 2013 9:38PM EDT
Tropical Storm Manuel edged onto Mexico's Pacific coast Sunday while Hurricane Ingrid swirled offshore on the other side of the country, as heavy rains and landslides caused at least 15 deaths and led authorities to evacuate thousands.
Stormy conditions led some communities in affected states to cancel Independence Day celebrations planned for Sunday and Monday.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Manuel began to weaken as soon as it made landfall near the port of Manzanillo during the afternoon, but remained a threat to produce flash floods and mudslides. It was predicted to dissipate by Monday.
In the southern coastal state of Guerrero, six people died when their SUV lost control on a rain-swept highway headed for the tourist resort of Acapulco. Landslides killed two people in Guerrero, and the collapse of a fence killed one person in Acapulco.
Manuel had maximum sustained winds of about 65 kph and was moving to the northwest at 15 kph late Sunday afternoon. Its center was about 60 kilometers northwest of Manzanillo.
Rains from Ingrid caused landslides that killed three people in the central state of Puebla, and a woman died when a landslide buried her house in Hidalgo state.
In the southern state of Oaxaca, which was affected by both storms, authorities said a child died after being swept away by a swollen river and a teenager was killed by a landslide.
The hurricane center said Ingrid, the second hurricane of the Atlantic storm season, could reach the Mexican mainland by Monday morning.
Manuel was expected to dump 10 to 15 inches of rain over parts of Guerrero and Michoacan state, with maximums of 25 inches possible in some isolated areas. Authorities said those rains would present an especially dangerous threat in mountains, where flash floods and mudslides were possible.
Ingrid also was expected to dump very heavy rains. It had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph) and was centered about 200 kilometers east-northeast of the port city of Tampico as it moved northwest at 6 kph. A hurricane warning was in effect from Cabo Rojo to La Pesca.
In Tamaulipas state to the north, where Ingrid was expected to come ashore, the government said in a statement that Independence Day festivities were cancelled in the cities of Tampico, Madero and Altamira. The Sept. 15 and 16 celebrations commemorate Mexico's battle of independence from Spain.
Officials in the Gulf state of Veracruz began evacuating coastal residents Friday night, and civil protection authorities said that more than 6,600 people had been moved to shelters or the homes of family and friends.
More than 1,000 homes in Veracruz state had been affected by the storm to varying degrees, and 20 highways and 12 bridges had damage, the state's civil protection authority said. A bridge collapsed near the northern Veracruz city of Misantla on Friday, cutting off the area from the state capital, Xalapa.
A week ago, 13 people died in the state when a landslide buried their homes in heavy rains spawned by Tropical Depression Fernand.