MEXICO CITY, Sept.18 (Xinhua) -- The death toll from two storms ravaging Mexico in recent days has risen to 80, government officials said Wednesday.
Of the fatalities, 48 were killed in southern Mexico's Guerrero state due to Manuel, a storm battering the Pacific Coast, and 32 more died nationwide mainly due to hurricane Ingrid, which hit the Gulf coast Monday, said Federal Civil Protection's General Dierector, Ricardo de la Cruz.
The two tropical storms affected 254 towns nationwide, forcing 39,000 people to evacuate and causing 100 rivers to overflow, Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said.
It's the first time since 1958 that two tropical storms have hit the country's coasts simultaneously, local meteorologists said, adding that heavy rains would be seen in some regions across the country.
Around 40,000 tourists were stranded in Acapulco, which lies in the hardest-hit southwestern state of Guerrero, after floods and landslides blocked the airport and highways out of the city, the minister said.
Sources from the Chinese embassy in Mexico said that several Chinese citizens from Chinese-funded enterprises were stuck in an Acapulco hotel waiting for evacuation, but with no risk to lives.
Military aircraft was dispatched to evacuate stranded tourists and the first military flight with aid supplies landed in Acapulco late Monday, military officials said.
Only two passenger planes were in service, with a few passengers getting seats on one of the five helicopters or seven cargo planes used in emergency duty, military official added.
Two of Mexico's largest airlines, Aeromexico and Interjet, are running flights to Mexico City from the still-swamped airport in Acapulco. About 600 people have been flown out so far, Transport Minister Gerardo Ruiz Esparza said. Aeromexico said it planned to fly 2,000 people out by Wednesday.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto visited Acapulco Monday after leading his first Independence Day parade.
The government allocated 230 million pesos (about 18.5 million U.S. dollars) to a rescue fund to cope with the storm disaster.
Ingrid and Manuel started to affect Mexico from Sept. 14 and though dissipating, are expected to produce 2.8 to 6 inches of rain over eastern and southern states of Mexico.
Mexico's National Meteorologcial Service stated that Manuel grew stronger when leaving the Mexico Gulf coast, and moved southward at 6kph to California, U.S., expected to produce 2.8 inches of rain over northwest states in the coming days.
According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center, a tropical depression over the Mexico's Gulf is likely to develop into a tropical cyclone over the weekend and will cause heavy rains in Mexico's eastern coast.