Building that collapsed last night in Cabo San Lucas. Building that collapsed last night in Cabo San Lucas.

Three people dead as Lidia lashes Los Cabos

Victims were swept away by floodwaters produced by torrential rain

Three people have been reported dead during the passing of tropical storm Lidia across Los Cabos, Baja California Sur.

The storm made landfall about 7:00pm yesterday evening with winds of more than 80 kilometers an hour, four to five-meter waves and heavy rain, which flooded streets and even hotels.

The National Water Commission said this morning that 670 millimeters of rain had fallen in 24 hours in San José del Cabo. One report said it was the highest recorded since 1933.

Baja California Sur and Jalisco have experienced the worst of the heavy rain, the commission said. Torrential rain has also been reported in Nayarit and Sinaloa, and Lidia was generating heavy rainfall as far away as Mexico City.

More than 1,500 residents of high-risk areas in Los Cabos are being housed in 17 emergency shelters.

Many citizens turned to social networks to seek help or news about relatives.

A woman and two men were reported to have drowned in Cabo San Lucas after being swept away by floodwaters, although no official information has been released.

As of 9:30 this morning the state had made no official release of information about the storm. Governor Carlos Mendoza Davis said yesterday there would be no information forthcoming until the State Council had met, in order to avoid “confusion.”

In the Chula Vista neighborhood of Cabo San Lucas, heavy rain has been blamed for the collapse of a four-story building in which eight dwellings were located.

The head of a residents’ organization had warned that buildings located next to a drainage canal were at risk.

Sergio Losoya said it appeared no one was hurt when the structure collapsed last night.

Los Cabos fire department chief Juan Carbajal said the building and another one adjacent were evacuated between midnight and 1:00am. The second building was on the verge of collapsing, he said.

The fire chief also said there was severe damage to the highway between San José and Cabo San Lucas.

The 20,000 tourists who are currently visiting Los Cabos are safe and sound inside their hotels, said a local tourism official this morning, noting that 52% of the municipality’s hotel rooms are occupied.

Karina Corral Raygoza said the Los Cabos airport was operating but domestic flights had been canceled, and only a few international airlines were flying.

The United States National Hurricane Center (NHC) said at 10:00am CDT that Lidia was situated about 100 kilometers west-northwest of La Paz and 115 kilometers east of Cabo San Lázaro, and producing winds of 95 kilometers an hour.

A tropical storm warning remains in effect for the Baja peninsula from San José de las Palmas to Isla San Luis, and on the mainland from Altata, Sinaloa, to Puerto Libertad, Sonora.

The NHC said Lidia was moving toward the northwest at 15 km/h, a movement that is expected to continue over the next couple of days. The center will move near or along the west coast of the Baja peninsula through Saturday before moving west over the Pacific Ocean Saturday night.

Total rain accumulations of 150 to 300 millimeters can be expected across Baja California Sur and into Baja California, Sinaloa and the coast of Sonora, with as much as 500 millimeters in some areas.

Source: El Universal (sp), El Sudcaliforniano (sp), Tribuna de Los Cabos (sp), El País (sp), Reforma (sp)

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