Mexico storm toll rises, missing helicopter found


The Mexican government searched for victims and continued assessing the damage yesterday from the one-two punch of storms Manuel and Ingrid, as a missing Federal Police helicopter working on the rescue was found crashed. All aboard died.

Meanwhile, in Mexico City, criticism mounted all week in editorials and public commentary that the government had made natural disasters worse because of poor planning, lack of a prevention strategy and corruption.

“Governments aren’t responsible for the occurrence of severe weather, but they are for the prevention of the effects,” wrote Mexico’s nonprofit Center of Investigation for Development in an online editorial criticising a federal programme to improve infrastructure and relocate communities out of dangerous flood zones.

“The National Water Program had good intentions but its execution was at best poor.”

President Enrique Pena Nieto and Guerrero Governor Angel Aguirre flew to the remote mountain coffee-growing area northwest of Acapulco near La Pintada, the scene of the single-greatest tragedy wreaked by the two storms.

Ingrid and Manuel simultaneously pounded both of Mexico’s coasts last weekend, killing at least 101 people, not including the helicopter crash victims. Another 68 people remained missing in La Pintada, where soldiers continued digging after a landslide wiped out half of the town.

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