Mon, Sep 11, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Storm kills two in quake-hit Mexico

CREEPING MENACE:Mexican emergency services said storm Katia was worrisome because it was slow-moving and could dump a lot of rain on already saturated areas

Reuters, MEXICO CITY

People walk in a street flooded by the overflow of the Tecolutla River on Saturday after the passage of Storm Katia in Mexico’s Veracruz State.

Photo: AFP

Two people died in a mudslide in Mexico sparked by Storm Katia and thousands were left without power as the weather front dissipated inland on Saturday, threatening to dump rains in waterlogged areas also shaken by a major earthquake this week.

The two people died in Xalapa, the capital of Veracruz State, when mud loosened from a hillside by Katia’s rains trapped them in their home, Mexican Civil Protection Service head Luis Felipe Puente told reporters.

Katia weakened rapidly after hitting the land on Friday night, although Veracruz Governor Miguel Angel Yunes said the storm had left about 70,000 people without electricity and caused damage in 53 of the nation’s 212 municipalities.

The US National Hurricane Center said that as a tropical depression, Katia was blowing maximum sustained winds of 56kph as it dissipated over the mountains of central eastern Mexico by midmorning on Saturday.

Mexico is dealing with the aftermath of a huge earthquake that struck on Thursday night and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Friday said that Katia could be especially dangerous in hillsides rocked by the magnitude 8.1 tremor.

The earthquake, the strongest to strike Mexico in more than 80 years, killed at least 90 people.

Katia was about 201km west-northwest of the port of Veracruz by midmorning on Saturday, the center said, adding that the threat of heavy rainfall continued.

Officials in Veracruz said that Katia could cause landslides and flooding, and urged people to evacuate vulnerable areas.

Mexican emergency services last week said that Katia was worrisome because it was very slow-moving and could dump a lot of rain on areas that have been saturated in recent weeks.

State energy company Pemex has installations in and around the coast of Veracruz, but has not reported any disruption to its operations there.

As Katia reached the Mexican Gulf Coast, Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful Atlantic storms in a century, walloped Cuba’s northern coast.

Millions of Florida residents were ordered to evacuate after the storm killed 21 people in the eastern Caribbean and left catastrophic destruction in its wake.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Jose continued to move northwestward in the Atlantic and was blowing winds of 233kph as a Category 4 storm about 193km east of the Northern Leeward Islands at 11am on Saturday.

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