MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Tropical Storm Beatriz approached Mexico’s Pacific coast on Thursday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said, dumping heavy rains that resulted in at least two deaths, caused landslides and forced road closures and flight cancellations.
The emergency services in the southwestern state of Oaxaca said a landslide in the village of San Marcial Ozolotepec buried some houses and rescuers had found one dead boy, while one more was missing. Another woman was killed by a landslide in the village of San Carlos Yautepec, the emergency services added.
The NHC said the storm was about 15 miles (24 km) south of the town of Puerto Angel, on Mexico’s southwestern Pacific coast, blowing maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour (72 kmh). The storm was moving northeast at 5 miles per hour, the NHC added.
Beatriz was expected to weaken once it hit land in southwestern Mexico on Thursday evening, the NHC added, and peter out over the mountainous region on Friday. Nonetheless, the NHC also expected it to produce “life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.”
At the airport in Huatulco, a resort town in Oaxaca, flights were canceled, tourists said. The federal highway 200, which runs along much of the country’s Pacific coast, was blocked at many points by landslides, Oaxaca’s emergency services said.
Schools would be closed throughout Oaxaca on Friday, the state’s emergency services added.
Earlier on Thursday, Pemex said its Salina Cruz refinery was operating normally.
(This story corrects to lower death toll to 2 as third person is missing, not yet dead)
Reporting by Michael O'Boyle, Anahi Rama and Gabriel Stargardter