In brief: Pair of big storms kill at least 34
MEXICO CITY – Two powerful storms gripped Mexico on Monday, dumping torrential rains on both coasts, forcing roads and airports to close in several cities, and killing at least 34 people.
Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said two-thirds of Mexican territory and more than 1.2 million people were affected by the storms.
President Enrique Pena Nieto interrupted Independence Day ceremonies Monday, called an emergency Cabinet meeting and then rushed to Acapulco, the Pacific coast tourist city in one of the hardest-hit states, Guerrero. Tens of thousands of people in several states were forced to flee their homes.
What had been Hurricane Ingrid continued to swirl off Mexico’s Gulf Coast, weakening slightly to tropical storm level, while Tropical Storm Manuel dumped torrential rains on the Pacific coast.
Troops recapture rebel-held villages
ZAMBOANGA, Philippines – Philippine troops have recaptured 70 percent of the coastal areas of a southern city that were occupied by Muslim rebels and rescued 116 civilians held hostage in a nine-day standoff, the military said today.
Three soldiers were killed and 10 wounded today in the latest fighting in Zamboanga, which followed a day of military airstrikes on rebel positions. That brings the death toll on the government side to 12: nine soldiers and three police.