Tropical storm Ernesto kills 6 in Mexico

MEXICO CITY. August 11. KAZINFORM Tropical storm Ernesto killed six people as it brought torrential rain to the southern Mexican states of Veracruz, Tabasco and Oaxaca, before being reduced Friday to a tropical depression, official sources said.

According to Xinhua, the civil protection agency in Veracruz said three people had died in Rio Blanco county past midnight Thursday, when the storm knocked over a tree that in turn brought down electric cables onto the victims' truck.

The state governments of Tabasco and Oaxaca had reported two deaths in the first and one in the latter while Ernesto was a category-1 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale earlier in the week.

Once Ernesto came ashore on the Gulf coast of Veracruz, it weakened into a tropical storm that still dumped inches of rain on 212 counties.

Ernesto continued to weaken throughout the day Friday, with the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami saying the depression was moving westward through south Mexico and was expected to head out into the Pacific Ocean around the resort of Acapulco.

Veracruz state Governor Javier Duarte issued a communique saying steady downpours Thursday and Friday had caused several rivers to overflow, and asked the local civil protection agency to take steps to protect people living in affected communities.

Duarte said everything should go back to normal Saturday in Veracruz as Ernesto heads out of the state.

As a preventive measure, in Veracruz hundreds of people were evacuated from a total of 27 counties, including Rio Blanco and Nogales, near the La Carbonera River.

The National Meteorological Service said Ernesto had reached the state of Guerrero, where Acapulco is located, and could still potentially dump inches of rain on central, eastern, south and southeast Mexico.


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