July 4, 1996 in Nation/World

Third Storm Hits Southern Mexico Coast; Dozens Of Fishermen Missing

Associated Press
 

Tropical Storm Cristina lashed the coast of southern Mexico with high winds and heavy rains Wednesday. Sixty-two fishermen were missing in the region’s third major storm in less than two weeks.

Cristina blew ashore in the southern state of Oaxaca, battering resorts and fishing ports on the Pacific Coast with 60 mph winds. It quickly dissipated to a tropical depression with less than 35 mph winds by afternoon.

There were no reports of deaths. Damage reports are slow to come from outlying areas.

A navy spokesman in Tapachula, in Chiapas state near the Guatemala border, said a search was under way for 62 shark fishermen who had gone to sea Monday from the Puerto Madero area and had not returned Tuesday as expected.

A spokesman for the federal fishing ministry said the missing fishermen were spread among 14 boats.

Raul Thomas, the civil protection chief, said local fishermen frequently seek refuge from bad weather on remote stretches of shoreline and aren’t heard from for many hours or even days.

“It’s worrisome because we don’t know exactly where they are,” Thomas said, “but I don’t believe we’re going to have major problems.”

Thomas said authorities had alerted fishermen of the storm’s development since Sunday.

A tropical storm warning had been in effect along the coast from Tapachula to Punta Maldonado, which is 220 miles south of Mexico City.

Meteorologists said Cristina hit land near the port of Huatulco at about 3 a.m. and weakened quickly.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm was moving west of Puerto Escondido at about 12 mph. Heavy rains presented a risk of floods and mudslides in the region.

Hurricane Alma smashed into the coast June 23 with 100 mph winds, landing near Ciudad Lazaro Cardenas, 220 miles southwest of Mexico City. Hurricane Boris roared through Saturday with 90 mph winds, reaching land between the Pacific resorts of Acapulco and Ixtapa.

Both storms caused several deaths and drove thousands of people from their homes.

© Copyright 1996 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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