Six dead in landslides caused by Tropical Storm Earl in Mexico

A home damaged by a landslide in Xalapa community, Veracruz, Mexico, following heavy rains. (Eduardo Murillo/AFP)
A home damaged by a landslide in Xalapa community, Veracruz, Mexico, following heavy rains. (Eduardo Murillo/AFP)

Xalapa – Six people died in landslides in the eastern Mexican state of Veracruz as what had been Tropical Storm Earl dumped heavy rains on the region, authorities said on Saturday.

Veracruz Civil Protection Secretary Yolanda Gutierrez Carlin said the dead included a child, and officials in neighbouring Puebla state warned that rivers in the mountainous area were in danger of flooding.

"The heavy rains caused two landslides leading to the deaths of six people in the townships of Coscomatepec and Tequila," Gutierrez Carlin said.

In Coscomatepec, about 100km south of the Veracruz state capital, Xalapa, a married couple and their one-year-old son were buried by the mudslide. Three others died in the other slide in Tequila, a town about 50km to the south.

Downgraded

Earl was downgraded to a tropical depression as it continued westward into the mountains of central Mexico.

But even though by evening the storm's remnants had passed on to Puebla, emergency officials told residents the danger continued because many of the state's rivers flow from that mountainous border area.

Gutierrez Carlin said 15 waterways – mostly streams and creeks – had overwhelmed their banks, adding to problems on many roads caused by mudslides and downed trees.

Earl struck Belize earlier this week as a Category 1 hurricane, ripping off roofs and downing power lines.

It also passed over Guatemala and southern Mexico before regaining strength over the Gulf of Mexico and making a second landfall on Veracruz's coastline late on Friday.

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