ACAPULCO, Mexico — More rain lashed Mexico’s northwest coast on Thursday, prompting evacuations and adding to flash floods that have created chaos across the country and killed at least 97 people.
In the Pacific resort of Acapulco, roads have become raging torrents, stranding some 40,000 tourists, including hundreds of Americans.
Alejandrino Gonzalez / AP
Mexican authorities scrambled to launch an air lift to evacuate tens of thousands of tourists stranded amid floods in the resort of Acapulco and deliver relief supplies following a pair of deadly storms.
Looters have added to the misery, wading through waist-deep water to raid abandoned stores, even as the floods wash away bridges and trigger landslides. The Mexican Navy was drafted in to stop them, telenews reported.
Other aircraft were sent in search of Black Hawk, but as the poor weather conditions and fading light forced authorities to suspend the search, which will resume today, the Excelsior newspaper reported.
Emergency services said heavy rains — tied to Tropical Storm Ingrid and Hurricane Manuel — were battering the northwestern state of Sinaloa and hundreds of people had been evacuated from coastal communities.
President Enrique Pena Nieto announced he was cancelling a trip to the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week to focus on leading the relief efforts in Mexico.
Transportation hubs, including the main airport in Acacpulco, are at a standstill.
Erika Angulo / NBC News
Manuel Olvera with his dogs Tommy and Mia, who he is trying to get home to Mexico City after Hurricane Manuel left them stranded in Acapulco.
Miami native Alice Cooper and her family were among the many trapped by the storms.
“We have been trying since Saturday to get out of here,” she told TODAY. “But it has been almost impossible.”
Manuel Olvera from Mexico City added that he had been staying in an Acapulco vacation apartment with his wife and their three pets — two dogs Tommy and Mia and their cat, Apollo.
“I’ve been coming to the airport for three days, trying to get my wife Marlen on a plane back,” he said. “Tuesday was complete chaos, but now its more calm but she still hasn’t been able to return home. Even if I could get on a plane, I can’t just abandon the pets here.”
He added that because of a water shortage in Acapulco, he had been forced to share some bottles with his pets.
“We are getting desperate; we have no more money,” another, Alfredo Gonzalez told reporters, late Thursday. “We are signed up for a military flight, but they told us there are thousands and thousands of people ahead of us.”