At least 80 people were killed and thousands of tourists were left stranded in Acapulco and southwest Mexico Thursday after two tropical storms struck the area, triggering landslides and turning the tourist destination into a crocodile-plagued hellhole.
The two tropical storms, Ingrid and Manuel, converged earlier in the week—Manuel from the Pacific Ocean and Ingrid from the Gulf of Mexico — unleashing torrential rains and setting off a giant landslide that buried La Pintada, a small village two hours northwest of Acapulco, killing at least 18 with another 58 people missing.
"It was like an explosion burst open the mountain, and in seconds the earth came down and the houses appeared to run, while others were buried," local woman Amelia Saldana Gregorio told Mexico’s El Universal newspaper. She said she lost four children and her mother in the horrific landslide.
The Alcaulco airport was flooded and both roads to Mexico City were blocked by debris from the storms. One British tourist who managed to escape on a military plane described the damage to ITV News.
“The amount of debris that washed up – palm trees, objects, a dead horse, a dead armadillo – it was just relentless, really,” he said. “The hotel wasn’t designed to cope with such destructive weather conditions. It just rained and rained.”
Manuel, now a Category 1 Hurricane, made landfall Thursday morning in northern Mexico and is expected to drop between 5 and 10 inches of rain along with 75 mph winds over the state of Sinaloa, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.
[Image via AP]