Landfall: Agatha hits Mexico, leaving 11 dead and 20 missing

Hurricane Agatha hit Mexico on Tuesday, and is expected to become a tropical depression as it nears the US Gulf


Associated Press

A satellite image from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association shows Hurrican Agatha off the Pacific coast of Mexico, as it approached the Mexican state of Oaxaca on Monday.

MEXICO CITY — Hurricane Agatha left at least 11 people dead and 20 missing in the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca, where it set off flooding and landslides, Alejandro Murat, governor of Oaxaca, said Wednesday.

More than 40,000 people in the state have been affected, primarily along the coast and in the mountains just beyond, Murat said.

Agatha was the strongest hurricane since records have been kept to come ashore in May in the eastern Pacific.

It made landfall Monday afternoon on a sparsely populated stretch of small beach towns and fishing villages as a strong Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph, but it quickly lost power after moving inland over the mountainous interior.

Even as Oaxaca continued to search for the missing and clean up downed trees and flooded homes, Mexican officials were watching another large area of thunderstorms along the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula that forecasters said could become a tropical storm later this week.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center gave the system a 70% chance of becoming a tropical depression by Friday. As it took shape, it dumped heavy rain on southern Mexico and Belize.

Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Defense Secretary Luis Cresencio Sandoval was overseeing recovery operations in Oaxaca.

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