The death toll from tropical storm Lidia in Baja California Sur has risen to seven but could increase further as up to 13 people are still reported missing in the wake of the powerful storm that caused widespread damage and left more than 4,000 victims.
Governor Carlos Mendoza reported that two people were electrocuted by power lines, one woman drowned after being swept into a watercourse and a two-year-old infant died after being separated from his mother and swept away by floodwaters.
Authorities said the number of casualties could rise further as emergency services reach villages where some people live in ramshackle homes.
The storm has now weakened as it continues its trajectory up the Baja California peninsula but its force will continue to be felt in several states including Sonora and Baja California before an expected downgrading to a tropical depression tomorrow.
Torrential rain lashed the five municipalities of Baja California Sur for more than 29 continuous hours after the storm made landfall about 7:00pm Thursday. Officials said 670 millimeters of rain fell in a 24-hour period in San José del Cabo and winds reached speeds in excess of 80 kilometers an hour.
More than 4,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes due to flooding and seek temporary shelter in La Paz and Los Cabos. People began returning to their homes yesterday afternoon.
The tourist region taking in San José del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas was cut off from Thursday night until midday yesterday due to landslides and the Federal Electricity Commission reported that over 100,000 homes were left without electricity during the storm.
Around 20,000 tourists staying in hotels in the area were left stranded because airlines canceled flights although airports in the state did not suffer any damage and are open.
A flight carrying 100 Federal Police officers and members of the national Civil Protection agency along with two tonnes of supplies, rescue equipment and specialized machinery was expected to touch down today.
Interior Secretary Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong compared the deluge brought by Lidia to Hurricane Harvey, saying the quantity of water that inundated Los Cabos was “almost the same as . . . Texas.”
He also said there were 13 people still unaccounted for. Many residents have used social networks to seek information and help to locate loved ones.
Other damage caused by Lidia included the collapse of one bridge and the closure of another while two buildings in Cabo San Lucas collapsed. Dozens of vehicles were swept away in strong currents.
Wild weather has also lashed other parts of the country in recent days causing a landslide in Guerrero and flooding in several states including Oaxaca, Mexico City and México state.