Mexico scrambles to clear debris as Storm Agatha weakens along southern coast

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Palm trees sway in the wind as Hurricane Agatha hits Mexico’s southern coast, in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca state, Mexico May 30, 2022. REUTERS/Jose de Jesus Cortes

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PUERTO ESCONDIDO, Mexico, May 31 (Reuters) – Authorities worked through Tuesday night to clear highways blocked by mudslides along Mexico’s southern coast as Tropical Storm Agatha slammed into the country , causing torrential rains and strong winds.

Agatha made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane on Monday afternoon, making landfall with winds of 105 miles per hour (169 kilometers per hour) near the resort town of Puerto Angel on the Pacific coast.

On Monday evening, Agatha weakened into a tropical storm and was expected to dissipate further by Tuesday evening, according to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC), which maintained a warning of flash flooding and potentially mudslides. deaths in the state of Oaxaca.

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Rain dragged mud and rocks onto two highways in Oaxaca, blocking access to at least one area of ​​the state, local authorities said. Mexico’s transportation ministry was working to clear the roads late Monday night.

Some towns in Oaxaca were left without power and a transformer exploded, authorities said. Telephone lines were cut on Monday, forcing authorities to communicate by radio.

Agatha is expected to drop a total of 10 to 16 inches (25 to 41 centimeters) of rain over Oaxaca, with heavy downpours in neighboring states of Chiapas, Veracruz, Tabasco and eastern Guerrero, the NHC said. .

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Reporting by Jose Cortes and Kylie Madry; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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