Mexico floods spark Acapulco airlifts

AFP-JIJI

Mexican military and commercial flights airlifted hundreds of tourists stranded in the flooded resort of Acapulco on Tuesday, where looters ransacked stores after two deadly storms struck.

The official death toll rose to 47 after the tropical storms, Ingrid and Manuel, swamped large swaths of the country during a three-day holiday weekend, sparking landslides and causing rivers to overflow in several states.

Officials said 40,000 Mexican and foreign tourists were marooned in Acapulco hotels after landslides blocked the two main highways out of the Pacific city, while knee-high dark water covered the airport’s terminal, leaving the resort city of 680,000 people cut off.

The military and Aeromexico and Interjet airlines began to fly people to Mexico City. Transport Minister Gerardo Ruiz Esparza said around 600 people had been flown out so far. Aeromexico said it planned to fly 2,000 people out by Wednesday. The airlines were transporting people with prior reservations first. Aeromexico was charging $115 and Interjet $77 for new tickets.