Hurricane Lane leaves destruction in Mexico

Report
from Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
Published on 17 Sep 2006
By Tomas Sarmiento

EL DORADO, Mexico, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Hurricane Lane left a trail of destruction on Mexico's Pacific coast that killed three people, washed away roads and knocked down flimsy homes before fizzling out on Sunday.

Lashing rains turned creeks into raging currents, destroying a bridge between the city of Culiacan and the tourist resort of Mazatlan when Lane made landfall on Saturday as a powerful Category 3 storm. Dozens of trucks and their drivers were stranded.

Lane's winds toppled electricity towers, trees and traffic signs.

"It seemed like the world was ending," said farm worker Jesus Javier Quintero.

Houses near the town of El Dorado, where the eye of the storm hit, were flooded before Lane lost punch and slowed to a tropical depression on Sunday.

"Everything is damaged," said resident Santos Garcia, 48. "The fridge is swimming out back," he said.

A young man died when his car fell in a river in Culiacan, police said on Sunday. The storm earlier killed two others.

Streets were flooded in Culiacan, the capital of the western state of Sinaloa. As the storm petered out, some 2,000 people who spent the night in shelters were sent home.

A handful of people gathered on a broken bridge near the city and stared at a small car swept into a stream.

The storm, still whipping up gusts and dumping isolated rain, was dissipating inland over western Mexico, according the Miami-based National Hurricane Center.

One man died in the village of Pueblos Unidos when he was knocked over by fierce winds, police said. Lane earlier killed a 7-year-old boy by triggering a rock fall in Acapulco.

The storm had been expected to move up through the Sea of Cortez and make landfall farther north, but it swung suddenly to the east and crashed into the coastline, flooding streets in Culiacan and knocking out power in parts of Mazatlan.

The resort of Los Cabos, on the tip of the Baja California peninsula, escaped damage from a hurricane for the second time in two weeks.

The resort escaped a direct hit from Hurricane John, which killed at least three people when it struck the peninsula that extends south from the U.S. state of California.

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