Storm Agatha kills 3 in southern Mexico

storm agatha

The roof of a house is damaged in the aftermath of Hurricane Agatha, in San Isidro del Palmar, Oaxaca state, Mexico, May 31, 2022. REUTERS/Jose de Jesus Cortes

At least three people were confirmed dead and at least five others reported missing on Tuesday after record-breaking storm Agatha battered southern Mexico, local authorities said on Tuesday.

Heavy rainfall in the region is expected to continue, and the remnants of the storm are likely to form a tropical depression by Friday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

Aldis Lopez, 21 and Mario Cruz, 18 were the storm’s first confirmed victims in the community of Santa Catarina Xanaguia in the hardest hit state of Oaxaca.

“They were buried between rocks and mud,” Axel Martinez, a spokesperson for the Oaxaca’s civil protection agency, told Reuters.

The civil protection agency confirmed a third person had died in the town of San Mateo Pinas, a woman who got caught in a landslide.

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Five others were reported missing, according to the state’s public security secretary.

Agatha made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane Monday afternoon, touching down with 105 mile-per-hour winds (169 km per hour) near the beach town of Puerto Angel on the Pacific coast, losing strength as it moved inland.

By late Tuesday, the storm continued tipping torrential downpours across the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Tabasco and Veracruz, according to Mexico’s National Water Commission (CONAGUA).

The remnants of Agatha interacted with an “upper-level trough” over the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, the NHC said, with a 40% chance of the disturbance becoming a tropical depression in the next 48 hours and a 75% chance by Friday.

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