Dual storm systems Ingrid and Manuel are making what should’ve been a dream vacation into a nightmare for tourists in Acapulco, Mexico.
More than 2,000 tourists have been airlifted from the city by military helicopters, but an estimated 40,000 people are still stranded as the two roads that lead to Mexico City remain closed. Mexican officials say it could take a few more days to reopen the roads — which were hit by more than 13 landslides— so that food and relief supplies can be brought to the city’s 800,000 residents.
Most resorts weathered the storm better than businesses and residents in the surrounding area, with many services at popular hotels up and running by Tuesday. But as many as 23,000 homes on the outskirts of the city were left without water or electricity.
Mexico’s two largest commercial airlines are running two flights per hour out of Acapulco, with the elderly and families with small children being given first priority. The city’s main airport remains flooded but planes are still able to depart from the tarmac.
Other storm victims made their way to a military base about 20 minutes away, where the army was working to help stranded visitors get to Mexico City. But with only one military passenger plane operable, the evacuation has been much slower than authorities had hoped, leaving many floundering at the base for hours on end.
Those who were lucky enough to get a seat crammed into a handful of aircrafts, including cargo planes and helicopters that were repurposed for the evacuations.
Hurricane Ingrid and Hurricane Manuel have both been downgraded, but that didn’t stop the storms from pounding areas in Mexico with torrential rains that led to mudslides, flash floods, killing more than 50 people throughout the country. The two storms approached Mexico from opposite sides, arriving within days of each other.
As Ingrid made her way toward land, around 20,000 people in Veracruz were evacuated.