Hurricane Lorenzo hit Mexico’s central Gulf coast on Friday, flinging roofs and billboards through the air and causing a landslide that claimed three lives.
The storm brought steady rain to much of central Mexico. In Puebla state, a saturated hillside collapsed, killing a woman and two children.
Following roughly the same path as August’s deadly Hurricane Dean, Lorenzo quickly weakened to a tropical depression as it charged inland, drenching Veracruz state’s lush mountains and filling rivers with roaring water. The storm had dissipated by late Friday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
The storm battered a coastline populated with small fishing villages and beach hotels, knocking over electrical poles and leaving about 5,000 people in shelters scattered throughout the region.
In the farming town of San Rafael, residents scooped water out of flooded homes and tried to keep their belongings dry as a nearby river threatened to overflow its banks. Many had lost their banana, orange and lime crops to Hurricane Dean, and were still cleaning up from that storm when Lorenzo hit.
U.S. Embassy warns of kidnap danger
The U.S. Embassy warned Friday that Somali-based extremists may try to kidnap American citizens from Kenyan beach resorts.
“There are indications that Islamic extremists based in Somalia may be planning to target Westerners, especially American citizens, in the Kiwayu Island tourist area and other beach sites frequented by Western travelers on the northeast coast near Somalia,” the embassy, which is also responsible for Somalia, said in an e-mail to U.S. citizens.
An embassy official said the warning was based on a tip from Kenyan security services this week.
Kenya shares a 400-mile border with Somalia, which is currently closed. Kenyan security forces have been regularly patrolling the border since a radical group controlling much of southern Somalia was ousted last December by Ethiopian troops supporting the weak, U.N.-backed government.