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Both of Mexico’s coasts have been hit by two different storms in just 24 hours, triggering floods and landslides that have caused widespread devastation across the country.
As Tropical Storm Manuel was bringing heavy rains and winds to the Pacific coast, Hurricane Ingrid closely followed doing the same on the northeast coast with the strength of a tropical storm.
The extensive flooding and landslides have damaged bridges, roads and homes across the Latin American country.
‘More than two thirds of the national territory has been affected,’ said Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong in a news conference.
Thousands of people have been evacuated and are now in shelters but there are fears that the more isolated hillside villages remain cut-off.
The rescue efforts have been slowed due to the continuous rains but the authorities and aid agencies are using boats, helicopters and amphibious vehicles to find survivors, many who have been using smartphones to send SOS messages on social networks.
‘In contact with civil defence authorities’
‘As of yet there are no reports of an unmet need for emergency shelter,’ said ShelterBox Operations Manager Alf Evans. ‘It seems that shelters have opened up across the country to house the affected families. We are in contact with the civil defence authorities in the country and will continue to monitor the situation.’
Forecasters have said that the last time Mexico was hit by two tropical storms in under one day was in 1958 and has never been struck by a hurricane and another storm at the same time.
ShelterBox is also monitoring Cyclone Usagi that is currently nearing the Philippines and China as well as an erupting volcano, Mount Sinabung, in Indonesia’s North Sumatra.