Hurricane Stan kills 61 in Mexico, USA expects another storm, Tammy

Another tropical storm, Tammy, has been located off the Eastern coast of Florida

Hurricane Stan has slammed into mainland Mexico killing at least 61 people. The storm hit landfall 136 km south-east of the city of Veracruz, packing winds of nearly 128 km per hour. It came ashore as a category one hurricane and then weakened to a tropical storm. Rainwater poured off the balconies of Spanish colonial buildings. Gusts blew the roofs off poor residents' flimsy shacks, injuring four people in Veracruz and hundreds were evacuated.

Hurricane Stan crossed the Yucatan Peninsula during the weekend, unleashing heavy rains in Central America. At least 51 people were killed in floods, mudslides and rough weather at sea. El Salvador was hardest hit with at least 49 deaths, while the toll in Nicaragua was six. Four people were reported dead in Guatemala and two in Honduras.

Forecasters said Stan triggered separate storms further to the south and officials in El Salvador's capital said 49 people had been killed, mostly due to two days of mudslides sparked by rains all over the country. More than 16,700 Salvadorans had fled their homes for 167 shelters nationwide.

“This is a national tragedy because of the rains,” said Eduardo Rivera, a spokesman for a team of Salvadoran rescue officials. “There isn't a corner of the country where there isn't pain and destruction to be found.”

Nine people died in Nicaragua, including six migrants believed to be Ecuadorians killed in a boat wreck. Four deaths were reported in Honduras, three in Guatemala and one in Costa Rica.

In Mexico's Chiapas, wind and rain more directly associated with Stan caused a river to overflow its banks and roar through the city of Tapachula, carrying homes of wood and metal with it and sparking hundreds of evacuations. The city's centre was littered with fallen branches and debris kicked up by flood waters and was virtually deserted Tuesday night, as those not forced to evacuate holed up inside their homes.

All three of Mexico's Gulf coast crude-oil loading ports closed, but the shutdowns were not expected to affect oil prices. The US National Hurricane Centre reported that even a greatly weakened Stan would continue to dump heavy rain on the state of Oaxaca and much of the rest of southern Mexico.

In the meantime, tropical Storm Tammy formed this morning with winds of 40 mph and may dump as much as 10 inches of rain over parts of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Tammy, the 19th named storm of the 2005 hurricane season, was located about 20 miles (32 kilometers) east of Cape Canaveral, Florida, as of 7:30 a.m. local time. The storm is moving northwest at 16 mph (26 mph) and may come ashore by tonight, although it is unlikely to become a hurricane.

Source: agencies

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Author`s name Olga Savka