October 13, 2011 in Nation/World

Hurricane Jova takes five lives in Mexico

Adriana Gomez Licon Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Residents stand at the edge of a flooded intersection in Villa de las Garzas, Mexico, on Wednesday.
(Full-size photo)

MANZANILLO, Mexico – Hurricane Jova slammed into Mexico’s Pacific Coast as a Category 2 storm early Wednesday, killing at least five people and injuring six, while a tropical depression hit farther south and unleashed steady rains that contributed to 13 deaths across the border in Guatemala.

Jova came ashore west of the Mexican port of Manzanillo and the beach town of Barra de Navidad before dawn with 100 mph winds and heavy rains, before moving inland and weakening to a tropical depression by afternoon. It continued to dump rain over a large swath of northwest Mexico, including Jalisco state, where rainfall this year had been low.

A 71-year-old woman drowned in Colima state after a strong current swept away the car in which she and her son were riding.

In the neighboring state of Jalisco, Jova triggered a mudslide in the town of Cihuatlan, just inland from Barra de Navidad, that swept away a house on a hillside, killing a 21-year-old woman and her daughter.

Farther northwest along the Mexican coast in the town of Tomatlan, about 12 miles from where Jova landed, a man and a teenage boy were killed when a wall of their home softened by heavy rains fell on them, officials said.

Flooding from Jova was so bad in Cihuatlan that the Red Cross office had to be evacuated because it was filled with 4 feet of water.

Mexico’s navy said it evacuated a total of 2,600 people in flood-prone areas hit by Jova, and set up kitchens at shelters to feed 1,600 evacuees.

The approach of Jova led authorities to close the port in Manzanillo, which is Mexico’s second-biggest non-oil cargo port.

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