3 Dead, 8 Missing After Hurricane Agatha Hits Mexico

(AFP)— Hurricane Agatha left at least three people dead and eight missing in southern Mexico, where heavy rains triggered landslides and flooding, officials said Tuesday.

The storm, the first hurricane of the Pacific season, was the strongest to make landfall along Mexico’s Pacific coast in May since record keeping began in 1949, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

Agatha weakened as it moved inland after lashing coastal tourist towns, but its remnants continued to bring downpours to parts of southern Mexico.

“Heavy rains that occurred early Tuesday morning caused rivers to burst their banks and landslides,” the governor of Oaxaca state, Alejandro Murat, told the media.

“Three people have been reported dead and eight missing,” he added.

Two people aged 18 and 21 years old died when part of a hill collapsed in the community of Santa Catarina Xanaguia, the Oaxaca civil protection office said.

Another woman died and her son was injured in a landslide in Llano del Chillar, it said.

Eight people were missing in the Sierra Sur mountains and Oaxaca coastal region, the office added, without giving details.

Agatha made landfall Monday near Puerto Angel in Oaxaca as a Category Two hurricane — the second lowest on a scale of five — with winds of 165 kilometers (105 miles) per hour.

Its remnants were expected to continuing moving inland over southern Mexico on Tuesday, producing more heavy rain with a risk of flooding and mudslides, the NHC said.

Mexico is regularly lashed by tropical storms on both its Pacific and Atlantic coasts, generally between the months of May and November.

The deadliest storm to hit Mexico last year was a Category 3 hurricane called Grace that killed 11 people in the eastern states of Veracruz and Puebla in August.