MANZANILLO/PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico, (Reuters) – Hurricane Jova flooded the streets of Mexico’s main Pacific port with torrential rain yesterday, inundating popular beach resorts and killing at least two people in a mud slide.
Streets in the port of Manzanillo were underwater, coastal communities were flooded and roads were blocked due to fallen trees and washouts after Jova, now a tropical depression, hit the coast as a Category Two hurricane late on Tuesday.
The port — Mexico’s busiest for cargo — remained closed to traffic. Some streets in Manzanillo were under 3 feet (1 metre) of water.
Highways leading northwest from Manzanillo along the coast were closed and the beach towns of Zihuatlan, Melaque and Barra de Navidad were swamped with floodwaters, the Red Cross said. “The streets of Manzanillo are impassable, as are the highways connecting Manzanillo with the south of Jalisco,” national Red Cross coordinator Isaac Oxenhaut said.
In the village of Jose Maria Morelos northwest of the port, a woman and her son died when a deluge of mud hit their home.
“I think they asphyxiated,” Alfredo Juan de Dios, 65, said of his sister-in-law Marisol and her young son Juan Pablo after the mud brought down a wall of their house, trapping them. “I have never seen rain like this. It’s caused mayhem,” he added.
Outside his shattered home, Marisol’s husband wept as rescue workers covered his son’s body with a white sheet.
The force of the winds flipped metal roofs off homes and cut power supplies to some 107,000 users in the area.
In Melaque, local musician Roberto Orozco said he was forced to abandon his home for higher ground. “I got back to find my stove and my fridge swimming,” said Orozco, 52. “We’re really sad, we lost everything.”