International

58 missing after landslide in Mexican village

Officials say it is unlikely any of those missing would have survived; storm Manuel strengthens to Category 1 hurricane

The death toll from a pair of devastating storms -- Manuel and Ingrid -- that have pummeled Mexico is likely to increase after officials said late Wednesday that more than 50 people were missing in a massive landslide that smashed through a village in the mountains of the country's south. The news comes as thousands of people, mostly tourists, remain stranded in the resort town of Acapulco.

Meanwhile, Manuel was upgraded to a hurricane that threatens more flooding and mudslides, even as another storm system over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula could hit the country in the next 48 hours. 

Federal officials in Mexico said they were not yet declaring dead the 58 people who are missing in the village of La Pintada -- which is several hours north of Acapulco -- but it appeared unlikely that they had survived.

"It's very likely that these 58 missing people lost their lives," Angel Aguirre, governor of storm-battered Guerrero state, told reporters. 

Officials raised the death toll from Manuel to 80 from 60 earlier Wednesday

Mexico's Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said rescue crews had evacuated 344 people from La Pintada. He said many were hurt, at least one seriously.

Photos: Hurricane Ingrid and Tropical storm Manuel strike Mexico

Osorio Chong said there is still risk of more landslides in the coffee-growing village pounded by rains from Manuel, which strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane late Wednesday. It is expected to produce 75 mph winds and dump five to 10 inches of rain on the state of Sinaloa.

In Acapulco, three days of rain evaporated into broiling late-summer sunshine as thousands of tourists attempted to leave the city, and hundreds of thousands of residents returned to homes devastated by reeking brown floodwater.

Mexican officials said at least 10,000 people had been flown out of the city on 88 flights by Wednesday evening, just part of the 40,000 to 60,000 tourists estimated to be stranded in the city.

"Forty-eight hours without electricity, no running water and now we can't get home," said Catalina Clave, who works at the Mexico City stock exchange.

The situation at the airport in Acapulco has been chaotic, Al Jazeera's Adam Raney reported Wednesday night. He said some passengers had apparently been told to show up for flights and were turned back. Two leading airlines were offering free flights to complement the military airlift effort in Acapulco, Raney reported. 

Meanwhile, Another area of low pressure over the Yucatan Peninsula has a 70 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours. It is likely to dump more heavy rains across an area already hit by floods and mudslides.

Al Jazeera and wire services 

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