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Death toll rises from Mexico twin storms

At least 57 killed and thousands evacuated after storms Ingrid and Manuel pummel Mexico unleashing rains and flooding.

Last Modified: 18 Sep 2013 11:22
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The death toll from the two deadly storms that struck Mexico has risen to 57 and swamped large swathes of the country during a three-day holiday weekend.

Mexican military and commercial flights airlifted thousands of tourists stranded in the flooded resort of Acapulco on Tuesday, where thousands of looters ransacked stores after the tropical storms, Ingrid and Manuel, hit.

The twin storms sparked landslides and caused rivers to overflow in several states. Several regions were still being battered by heavy rains and floods.

The Mexican Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said it would take two to three days to reopen the two highways out of Acapulco, which lies in the hard-hit southwestern state of Guerrero.

Several regions are being battered by heavy rains 

Osorio Chong said the weather systems affected 254 towns nationwide, forced 39,000 people to evacuate and caused 100 rivers to overflow.

It was the first time since 1958 that two tropical storms hit Mexico within 24 hours.

Manuel struck the Pacific coast on Sunday while Ingrid weakened from hurricane to tropical storm strength as it made landfall on the northeastern coast on Monday.

Officials said 40,000 Mexican and foreign beachgoers were marooned in Acapulco hotels after landslides blocked the two main highways out of the Pacific city, while knee-high dark water covered the airport's terminal.

The Transport Minister Gerardo Ruiz Esparza said around 600 people had been flown out of Acapulco so far.

Interjet Airlines president Miguel Aleman Magnani said flying into Acapulco was complicated, because the radar was out and there were few dry spots on the runway.

"It's all visual - like in the old days," he told radio Formula. Aeromexico said it planned to fly 2,000 people out by Wednesday.

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