Six people died in landslides in the eastern Mexican state of Veracruz as what had been Tropical Storm Earl dumped heavy rains on the region, authorities said Saturday. Veracruz Civil Protection Secretary Yolanda Gutierrez Carlin said the dead included a minor, and officials in neighboring Puebla state warned that rivers in the mountainous area were in danger of flooding.
“The heavy rains caused two landslides leading to the deaths of six people in the townships of Coscomatepec and Tequila,” Gutierrez Carlin said. In Coscomatepec, about 62 miles (100 kilometers) south of the Veracruz state capital, Xalapa, a married couple and their 1-year-old son were buried by the mudslide. Three others died in the other slide in Tequila, a town about 30 miles (50 kilometers) to the south.
Earl was downgraded to a tropical depression as it continued westward into the mountains of central Mexico. But even though by evening the storm’s remnants had passed on to Puebla, emergency officials told residents the danger continued because many of the state’s rivers flow from that mountainous border area.
Gutierrez Carlin said 15 waterways – mostly streams and creeks – had overwhelmed their banks, adding to problems on many roads caused by mudslides and downed trees.
Earl struck Belize earlier this week as a Category 1 hurricane, ripping off roofs and downing power lines. It also passed over Guatemala and southern Mexico before regaining strength over the Gulf of Mexico and making a second landfall on Veracruz’s coastline late Friday.