Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Mudslide buries Mexico village amid hurricane

19 September 2013, 07:28

Acapulco - A resurgent hurricane lashed Mexico's northwest coast on Wednesday after twin storms killed at least 80 people nationwide and buried a village under a mudslide, leaving dozens more missing.

Hurricane Manuel was "hugging" the coast of Sinaloa with winds of 120km/h, threatening to spark flash floods and landslides, the US National Hurricane Centre said.

Earlier this week, Manuel pummelled the south-western Pacific coast as a tropical storm while Ingrid barrelled across the east in a dual onslaught unseen since 1958.

The storms damaged bridges, caused rivers to overflow and flooded half of the Pacific resort of Acapulco, stranding tens of thousands of tourists who sought airlifts while looters ransacked stores.

Authorities said the death toll had risen to 80 across 12 of 32 states, but the body count could rise after the grim discovery of a huge mudslide in the mountains of south-western Guerrero state.

President Enrique Pena Nieto said 58 people were missing after a "major landslide" collapsed on La Pintada, a remote village of 400 people west of Acapulco.

"We are not sure for the moment how many people are trapped under the mud," Pena Nieto said.

Ediberto Tabarez, the mayor of Atoyac de Alvarez, a municipality that oversees La Pintada, told AFP in a phone interview that at least 15 bodies have been found.

Tabarez said the situation was "very critical" after more than 20 homes were crushed.

Survivors who were evacuated to Acapulco told AFP that villagers were having lunch during Independence Day celebrations on Monday when a thundering noise came from the hill.

Then the earth came crashing down on homes, the church and schools as people ran for their lives, said the survivors who were taken to convention centre serving as a shelter for storm victims.

Ana Clara Catalan, aged 17, was preparing corn tortillas when she heard a "loud noise".

"We ran out. It was an ugly noise, worse than a bomb," she said. "The school, the kindergarten and the church were lost."

News of the disaster only emerged after a survivor was able to radio someone in a neighbouring village.

"More than half of La Pintada was demolished, few homes were left," said Maria del Carmen Catalan, a 27-year-old mother of three.


Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said 334 people - mostly women, children and senior citizens - were evacuated by police helicopters while 45 men would spend the night there before being rescued on Thursday.

Osorio Chong held up a picture showing the mountain of earth and rock smack in the middle of the village.

He said the search for bodies will only begin on Thursday because the area remains dangerous, with water gushing from where the earth fell, threatening to trigger another landslide.

The storms have affected some 220 000 people across the country, damaging 35 000 homes, officials said.

With Acapulco isolated, authorities were scrambling to clear rocks and mud from the two highways to Mexico City and hoped to open a way out on Friday.

The disaster sparked panic buying at supermarkets while thousands of residents looted flooded stores, wading through water with televisions, food and even fridges.

"Unfortunately, there is desperation, but more army and navy troops have arrived," Mayor Luis Walton told MVS radio. "We ask people to remain calm."

Thousands of desperate and exhausted tourists stood in massive lines to board military aircraft at an air force base, shouting as some cut the line.

Their anger rose as a separate, shorter line formed for wealthier visitors who booked flights on private jets.

"I ask the government that, since we all pay taxes, we all be treated the same way because the rich and the poor are equal in this tragedy," said Leonor Carretto, aged 45, whose five-year-old daughter was running a fever after waiting for hours in line.

The civilian airport's terminal was flooded in knee-high dark water, but commercial carriers Aeromexico and Interjet have flown special flights since Tuesday despite the lack of functioning radar.

More than 5 000 people have been flown out since Tuesday and officials hope to have evacuated 15 000 by Thursday.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...