Tags: acapulco | escape | flooding | strand | tourists

Escape From Acapulco: Flooding Strands Thousands of Tourists

By    |   Wednesday, 18 Sep 2013 01:06 PM

Thousands of tourists in Acapulco are stranded and attempting to escape the resort town via round the clock airlifts as massive flooding and landslides continue to ravage the region, blocking major highways and causing some 57 deaths as of Wednesday.

Two powerful storms, one from the Pacific and the other the Gulf, converged on Mexico on Monday, pummeling the country and giving way to some of the worst flooding the country has seen in decades, the Associated Press reported.

The flooding and landslides gave way to desperation on the part of residents, with some resorting to looting local grocery stores for food, forcing police to take up positions around a closed Costco, despite it being flooded by several feet of water.

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On Wednesday, hundreds of people waded through waist-high brown water in Costco's parking, fishing out any food or drink that they could salvage which had likely been dropped by looters, the AP noted.

"If we can't work, we have to come and get something to eat," 60-year-old fisherman Anastasio Barrera told the AP while standing outside Costco with his wife. "The city government isn't doing anything for us, and neither is the state government."

As local residents await government assistance, an estimated 40,000 tourists struggle to find ways out of the area, with two of Mexico's largest airlines running about two flights an hour from Acapulco's still-flooded international airport Tuesday.

Priority on the flights has reportedly been given to elderly tourists and the families of those with young children.

According to military officials, presently there are two passenger planes in service at the airport while an additional five helicopters and seven cargo planes are also taking turns on the tarmac ferrying out stranded tourists.

"It's probably one of the worst holidays I've ever been on," tourist David Jefferson Gled, a 28-year-old from Bristol, England, told the AP. "It wasn't really a holiday, more of an incarceration."

According to the Guerrero state government, by Tuesday's end just 2,750 people had been flown out of Acapulco.

"It's horrible. We haven't eaten anything since nine in the morning," said Lizbeth Sasia, a 25-year-old teacher from Cuernavaca, Mexico, told the AP. "They keep telling us we'll be on the next flight, but the next flight never comes."

"We're cooking here, burnt. We're tired, desperate," said Irma Antonio Martinez, a 43-year-old housewife from suburban Mexico City who came to celebrate the three-day Independence Day weekend with 12 relatives. "We just want to get home to our poor house. Our families are waiting for us."

Despite ongoing efforts by local authorities to open up major highways around Acapulco in order to allow for food and relief supplies to be brought into the area, the AP reports that federal officials estimate the cleanup will take at least another two days to clear the roadways.

In the meantime, some 800,000 people in the area are growing increasingly desperate with little to no food sources available and landslides having destroyed much of the homes.

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Related stories:

Boy, 4, Dead and Mother Missing in Waynesville Flooding in Missouri

Flooding in North Carolina Claims Lives of 2 Swimmers in Creek

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Thousands of tourists in Acapulco are stranded and attempting to escape the resort town via an airlift as massive flooding and landslides continue to ravage the region, blocking main highways andbeing responsible for the death of 57 people as of Wednesday.
acapulco,escape,flooding,strand,tourists
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2013-06-18
Wednesday, 18 Sep 2013 01:06 PM
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