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Death toll from tropical storm Earl rises to 50 in Mexico

Death toll from tropical storm Earl rises to 50 in Mexico

MEXICO CITY – The death roll rose to 50 after tropical storm Earl triggered landslides in Mexico’s central and eastern mountainous communities over the weekend, a government official said Wednesday.

Ricardo de la Cruz, director of Mexico’s Civil Protection under the Interior Ministry, said 36 were killed in the central state of Puebla, one more than the latest official report published Tuesday.

Over the weekend, the storm struck small towns located in the mountains in Puebla, bringing heavy rain which caused the earth to soften and fall on top of several houses.

De la Cruz said reports showed that there were no communities cut off in the area since the emergency services managed to enter Tuesday using all-terrain vehicles.

The inhabitants of the affected areas in Puebla have gradually returned to their homes even though, on Wednesday, around 950 people were still housed in five shelters, said de la Cruz during a television interview with Primero Noticias.

Emergency funds have been allocated to rebuild damaged roads and bridges and the federal authorities were checking the conditions of houses.

According to the director, 13 people died from landslides in the eastern state of Veracruz, and one person was killed upon returning to his property after a landslide in the central state of Hidalgo.

Earl touched ground as a category 1 hurricane on Thursday in the neighboring country of Belize and after weakening to a tropical storm, it moved through southeast Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico before hitting Veracruz.

The official also said weather phenomenon Javier did not cause significant damage on Tuesday in the state of Baja California Sur, in northwest Mexico, and its risk has diminished.

Javier became a tropical storm on Monday in the Pacific Ocean but weakened to a low pressure system when hitting the state located in the Baja California peninsula. (PNA/Xinhua)

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