August 23, 2007 / 7:11 PM / in 11 years

Hurricane Dean rains pound Mexico, five dead

MEXICO CITY, Aug 23 (Reuters) - Heavy rains from Hurricane Dean pounded western Mexico on Thursday after the storm killed at least five people in a three-day rampage across the breadth of the country.

Dean, which has weakened to a tropical depression, caused two rivers and a reservoir to overflow in the mountains of Hidalgo state and dumped rain as far away as Jalisco, which has a Pacific coastline.

Among the dead were two people who died in Hidalgo when the roof of their house collapsed because of a downpour and a man who was struck by lightning while sheltering under a tree in Michoacan, emergency services said.

Dean damaged Mayan villages and beach resorts in a run across the Yucatan Peninsula on Tuesday and then churned through the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday to slam into Mexico’s eastern coastline.

The storm was a Category 5 hurricane when it hit the Yucatan, becoming the first storm of that strength to touch land in the Atlantic basin since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

The storm killed a total of 22 people in Mexico, Haiti, Jamaica and other parts of the Caribbean region.

Another four people were reported on Thursday to have died in a mudslide in eastern Mexico but that could not immediately be confirmed.

Mexico’s state oil monopoly, Pemex, said oil production, 80 percent of which was cut due to the storm, would begin to return to normal on Friday.

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