Photo: Mexican military
Mexico’s armed forces “are working on a ‘forced march’ basis” to get to the people who have been trapped or left destitute by the effects of tropical storms Manuel and Ingrid, the government said Wednesday.
“There are people who cannot leave their homes ... Those are the people we have to help first,” Social Development Secretary Rosario Robles told Televisa television from Acapulco, one of the cities most heavily affected by the storms, which killed 57 people.
The armed forces have deployed some 8,000 troops nationwide for emergency relief efforts, Defense Secretary Salvador Cienfuegos said.
In the southern state of Guerrero, where Acapulco is located, Manuel caused landslides along highways and damaged tunnels, made rivers overflow and knocked down bridges, all of which has left a good part of the state incommunicado.
“Without a doubt, Guerrero is the most affected (state) so far,” admitted Robles, who called attention to the “extraordinary situation” facing Mexico after the simultaneous impacts of tropical storms on its Gulf and Pacific coasts.
“We have 40,000 tourists ... stranded here in Acapulco. Many of them arrive by land transport and today we have to remove them by air. We have to attend to the people who are in their homes, at the same time that (we do so) for those in the shelters, and to patrol the city to prevent problematic situations,” she said.
As more immediate challenges, she mentioned normalizing the situation in Acapulco little by little, delivering food and other supplies and attending to the isolated residents and visitors.
“We have 10 helicopters working, we’ve rescued more than 1,000 people, we have them in shelters, we’re in an emergency situation, not only in Acapulco, but in the entire state,” Robles said.
The secretary announced that on Wednesday a ship will arrive from the port of Manzanillo with food for Acapulco.