The death toll from the remnants of Hurricane Earl grew to 18 in Mexico as a new tropical storm formed off the country's Pacific Coast. Rains set off mudslides in three communities in the Gulfcoast state of Veracruz that killed 10 people, while inneighbouring Puebla at least eight people died when a mud slideswept through 13 homes in the mountain town of Xaltepec early yesterday.
Gabriel Alvarado, mayor of the township of Huauchinango,which includes Xaltepec, said in a statement that intense rains caused damage affecting at least 200 people. Alvarado confirmed eight deaths, but said the toll could rise as search operations continued. "It is a tragedy what has happened to our people in Huauchinango," he said. Tropical Storm Javier formed off Mexico's Pacific Coast yesterday, the US National Hurricane Center said.
Javier had sustained winds of about 45 mph (75 kph) and was centered about 110 miles (175 kilometers) west of Manzanillo at midday. The storm was moving west-northwest atabout 12 mph (19 kph). The storm was staying offshore from Mexico's southwestern coast, and forecasters said Javier would approach there sort-dotted southern portion of the Baja California Peninsula by early Tuesday.
Heavy rains of between 4 and 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters) were expected, along with high winds. A tropical storm warning was in effect from Manzanillo to Cabo Corrientes. A tropical storm watch was in effect from thesouthern part of the Baja California peninsula to Santa Fe. Earl was briefly a Category 1 hurricane before hitting the Central American nation of Belize and then Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, dumping rain and triggering landslides.
It regained strength after passing over the Gulf of Mexico before making a second landfall on Veracruz's coast late Friday. Veracruz Gov Javier Duarte said yesterday that a total of10 people died in landslides in the towns of Cocomatepec,Tequila and Huayaco cotla. Officials had earlier listed six deaths.