Tropical Storm Manuel Lashes Parts of Mexico

Tropical Storm Manuel lashed Mexico

People stand on the edge of a collapsed bridge as they wait to ferry their goods via a boat across the Papagayos River, south of Acapulco, near Lomas de Chapultepec, Mexico, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013. / AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo

Tropical Storm Manuel lashed Mexico's northwestern state of Sinaloa with heavy rains on Thursday (September 19), prompting evacuations and adding to flash floods that have unleashed chaos across Mexico and killed at least 97 people.

Storms inundated streets in the town of Altata, forcing residents to brave the treacherous conditions on foot with key transport routes in the town cut.

Emergency authorities have evacuated hundreds of people from coastal communities in Sinaloa as heavy rains from Manuel beat down on the Pacific state.

With homes reportedly without electricity, local resident Guadalupe Salazar told Reuters she was surprised by the ferocity of the rains.

"Nobody had thought that it would be come down so strong. All the time it was normal, there was wind and that sort of thing, but at night it was very strong. We all went to lie down-- there was no electricity or anything-- and when we got out, the water was up to our waists," she said.

The fresh misery comes after tropical storms Ingrid and Manuel converged on Mexico from the Gulf and the Pacific over the weekend, triggering the flash floods.

Ingrid dissipated, but Manuel then strengthened and gained hurricane strength before it was downgraded again to a tropical storm. Manuel was expected to weaken further to a tropical depression later on Thursday (September 19).

Mexico's storms have flooded vast areas of the country since late last week, wrecking roads, destroying bridges and triggering landslides that buried homes and their occupants. Earlier this week, roads became raging rapids in the Pacific resort of Acapulco, stranding some 40,000 tourists.

With more than a million people reportedly affected across the country, the finance ministry said it had around $925.60 million available in emergency funding.

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