Hurricane Agatha leaves death and devastation in its wake in Mexico

Mexico City, Mexico - At least 11 people have died after Hurricane Agatha cut a swathe across Mexico.

Hurricanes can simply crush homes with high winds.
Hurricanes can simply crush homes with high winds.  © REUTERS

The unusually strong storm marked the first hurricane of the season, and made landfall on Monday near several beach resorts on Mexico's Pacific coast, causing flooding and landslides.

It began to weaken as it moved inland and was downgraded to a tropical storm and dissipated by the end of Tuesday, according to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC).

At least 11 people died and a further 21 people were still missing, Alejandro Murat, the governor of the southern Mexican state, told Radio Fórmula on Tuesday evening.

Murat said some communities on the coast and in the mountainous region of Sierra Sur were still without electricity and phone reception.

According to state-owned electricity company CFE, 70,000 connections were temporarily cut off.

Murat said schools in the worst affected regions would remain closed on Wednesday.

Hurricanes on the rise

Fossil fuels are the direct cause of worsening storms like Hurricane Agatha.
Fossil fuels are the direct cause of worsening storms like Hurricane Agatha.  © REUTERS

The NHC said Agatha's remnants were expected to produce heavy rainfall across south-eastern Mexico for a few more days, adding that "life-threatening" flash floods and mudslides were possible.

And CNN reported that the leftovers from the storm could roll up towards Florida and help whip up a new storm by the weekend.

With winds of up to 100 miles per hour, Agatha was a category 2 hurricane, out of a five-point scale. According to the NHC, it was the strongest storm to make landfall on Mexico's Pacific coast in the month of May since records began in 1949.

Hurricane season lasts from May 15 to November 30 in the Pacific and from June 1 to November 30 in the Atlantic, but the frequency and intensity of storms is rising, thanks to effects of the climate crisis.

According to experts, climate change is causing tropical storms like Hurricane Agatha to become more intense.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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