The number of people killed in severe flooding in southern and central Mexico after two major storms ravaged the country, rose to at least 57 on Wednesday, with thousands of tourists and residents stranded in the resort city of Acapulco. Regional emergency services have reported deaths in Veracruz, Guerrero, Puebla, Hidalgo, Michoacan and Oaxaca related to this weekend’s twin storms Hurricane Ingrid and Tropical Storm Manuel, according to Reuters.
Guerrero, which houses the resort city of Acapulco, bore the brunt of the storm, with a death toll of at least 34 people as of Tuesday. Descriptions about the mood in the resort city varied wildly. According to the Associated Press, the majority of hotels in Acapulco were operating normally by Tuesday, with most of the damage confined to outer lying neighborhoods.
But several tourists who spoke to Reuters described a state of panic in Acapulco, with hotels already implementing rations on food and visitors resorting to desperate measures. Manuel also caused major flooding to Acapulco’s airport and highway, which connects it to Mexico City. The Guerrero state government estimated the number of stranded tourists at 40,000 as of Tuesday, although some reports placed that number as high as 60,000.
Alejandro Hernandez, a 40-year-old landscaper vacationing in the city with his wife and 3-year-old daughter from Mexico City said, “the panorama is one of devastation.”
"The hotel is no longer functioning as a business. The staff is starting to leave. They have closed the front desk, switched off the computers," Hernandez said. "All they have done is caused panic by saying they are going to start rationing, turn off power and cut water."
"I had to go to a pawn shop to leave some jewelry to get money to be able to eat and pay for accommodation," Cristina Dominguez Navarro, who rented an apartment in the city with her family, told the news service.
"We came with just enough money for three days and now we have been here for five," Navarro said. "I don't know what we'll do if they don't open the motorway soon."
According to Fox News, the storm prompted some desperate Acapulco residents to loot a store on a main boulevard, carrying off food, clothing, and even expensive electronic items. Hours later, state police carrying guns were guarding a local Costco store.
"It's probably one of the worst holidays I've ever been on," David Jefferson Gled, a 28-year-old from Bristol, England, who teaches in Mexico City told Fox News. "It wasn't really a holiday, more of an incarceration."
Mexico’s government said the weather crisis was the worst the country had seen since 1958, when two tropical storms similarly struck the nation on different coasts. Guerrero’s state government said that approximately 2,750 people had been flown out of Acapulco’s airport as of late on Tuesday.