Photo: Hurricane Ernesto Death Toll Rises
Five more people have been reported killed by Hurricane Ernesto, which first made landfall last week on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, raising the death toll from the storm to 12, officials said.
The latest deaths occurred in two traffic accidents Friday in the southern state of Guerrero blamed on the storm.
A total of 32 automobiles crashed on the Highway of the Sun, which links the Pacific port city of Acapulco to Mexico City.
The pile-up happened on the El Zapote bridge, located about 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) from Chilpancingo, the capital of Guerrero, due to poor weather.
A man died and 29 other people were injured in the accident, state officials said.
Rain, fog and speeding by some drivers were to blame for the accident, emergency services officials said.
Four people, meanwhile, were killed on the Chilpancingo-Iguala federal highway when two vehicles collided.
The accident claimed the lives of a woman and three men, emergency services officials said.
An emergency declaration has been requested for the 81 cities in Guerrero, the state government said in a statement.
Five deaths from Ernesto were reported earlier this weekend in the Gulf state of Veracruz.
Three members of a family were killed when a tree fell on their vehicle in the town of Rio Blanco, Veracruz emergency management office spokesman Manuel Escalera told Efe Friday.
Two other people drowned when they were swept away by a river in the Veracruz town of Tihuatlan, Gov. Javier Duarte said.
Another individual perished Thursday in the port city of Coatzacoalcos before Ernesto made landfall a second time as a tropical storm. That victim slipped and fell while doing repair work on his home, but local officials determined the death was not related to the weather system.
Ernesto dumped torrential rain on 212 municipalities in Veracruz, where the emergency management office ordered at least 1,000 people to evacuate homes located along several river banks.
The storm caused damage to homes and roads, and triggered some power outages and mudslides.
Ernesto first made landfall Tuesday night near Mahahual, a fishing town in the southeastern state of Quintana Roo, as a Category 1 hurricane packing winds of up to 165 kph (103 mph).
The storm crossed the Yucatan Peninsula on Wednesday without causing any casualties or serious damage and then moved back over water.
Early Thursday afternoon, it made landfall near Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, bringing winds of 96 kph (60 mph) and causing two deaths in the neighboring state of Tabasco.