Hurricane Ingrid, Storm Manuel drench Mexico, kill 17

MEXICO CITY,  (Reuters) – Hurricane Ingrid and Tropical Storm Manuel brought heavy rains to Mexico’s Gulf and Pacific coasts yesterday, causing flooding and landslides that killed 17 people and forced some towns to cancel national Independence Day celebrations.

Thousands of people sought emergency shelter as the two storms moved closer to land and caused rivers and streams to burst their banks.

“There is a lot of water and the rivers are full,” said Luis Felipe Puente, national coordinator for Mexico’s emergency services. “There will be yet more rain when the storms make landfall.”

In Guerrero state on Mexico’s Pacific coast, 11 people died in landslides and as buildings collapsed because of heavy rain on Saturday and yesterday. In the states of Puebla and Hidalgo, three people were killed when a wall collapsed and three people were carried away by a strong current.

On the Gulf coast, Hurricane Ingrid, a Category 1 storm with sustained winds of 75 miles per hour (120 km per hour), was drenching Tamaulipas and Veracruz states on Sunday, sending more than 6,000 people into emergency shelters.

Mexico’s state oil monopoly Pemex, which has most of its installations in the Gulf, evacuated three platforms off the Tamaulipas coast yesterday.

In Veracruz, there have been landslides and localized flooding, but no injuries or deaths reported, local emergency services officials said.

Ingrid, which was located 110 miles (175 km) from Tampico, Veracruz at 2100 GMT, is expected to bring hurricane conditions to Veracruz and Tamaulipas early on Monday morning when the storm is forecast to reach land.

The storm could strengthen slightly before reaching land, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

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