Mexico hit by severe dual storms

Mexico is being battered by two severe storms – one its eastern coast and another on its west, officials say.

More than 5,000 people have been evacuated on the Gulf of Mexico coast ahead of Hurricane Ingrid which already has winds of 120km/h (75mph).

It is expected to make landfall in the coming days.

Tropical Storm Manuel has hit the western coast, on the Pacific Ocean, bringing almost twice the monthly rainfall in just three days.

The states of Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Chihuahua have been the worst hit with some road and telecommunications links down.

The BBC’s Will Grant in Mexico City says that Hurricane Ingrid is the second major storm of the hurricane season and has been steadily gathering strength in the Gulf of Mexico.

Our correspondent says that it is considered to pose a serious risk to several communities in the region.

Most of those who have been evacuated are staying in official shelters while the remainder have sought refuge with friends and families.

In particular, the southern state of Chiapas and the eastern state of Veracruz have been affected.

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Officials say that two of Mexico’s three major oil-exporting ports are closed, although most of the country’s Gulf Coast ports including Veracruz remained open on Saturday as the storm approached.

Ingrid is expected to deposit between 25cm (10in) and 63cm (25in) of rain over a large part of eastern Mexico, which will cause rivers to overflow and create flash floods and mudslides.

It could also cause a storm surge that would raise waters by 0.6m to 1.2m (2ft-4ft) above normal tide levels near where it makes landfall.

Earlier this week, 13 people were killed in Veracruz when their homes were buried under a landslide caused by heavy rains.

On the other side of the country, it is a similar story in the Pacific states of Oaxaca, Guerrero and Chihuahua to the north.

They have been hit by Tropical Storm Manuel and an estimated 600mm (23in) of rain is expected to be dumped in the region in just three days, almost twice the monthly rainfall.

The authorities fear that such massive amounts could cause further flash flooding and mudslides over what is traditionally a weekend of celebration for the country’s independence day.