ACAPULCO, Mexico — The toll from devastating twin storms climbed to 80 on Wednesday as isolated areas reported deaths and damage to the outside world, and Mexican officials said that a massive landslide in the mountains north of Acapulco could drive the number of confirmed dead even higher.
The storm that devastated the Pacific resort over the weekend regained strength Wednesday and became Hurricane Manuel, taking a route that could see it make landfall on Mexico’s northwestern coast overnight. It would be a third blow to a country still reeling from the one-two punch of Manuel’s first landfall and Hurricane Ingrid on Mexico’s eastern coast.
Sinaloa state civil protection authorities said some areas were already flooding in the towns of Escuinapa, El Rosario and Mazatlan. At least 60 families were evacuated from the fishing village of Yameto, in the Sinaloan town of Navolato, authorities said. The affected area is a sparsely populated stretch of fishing villages.
Outside Acapulco, federal authorities reached the cutoff village of La Pintada by helicopter and airlifted out 35 residents, four of whom were seriously injured in the slide, said Interior Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong.
Mayor Ediberto Tabares of the township of Atoyac told Milenio television late Wednesday that 15 bodies had been recovered and possibly many more remained buried in the remote mountain village.
In Acapulco, three days of Biblical rain and leaden skies evaporated into broiling late-summer sunshine that roasted thousands of furious tourists trying vainly to escape the city, and hundreds of thousands of residents returning to homes devastated by reeking tides of brown floodwater.