Mexico is gearing up for tropical storm Raymond as the system gathers strength in the Pacific Ocean. At midday on Sunday, the storm was about 180 miles southwest of Acapulco, and was moving at about 6 mph. A tropical storm warning was in effect from Acapulco to Lázaro Cárdenas.
Although the system will near the coast late Monday or Tuesday, it is expected to turn westward before actually making contact. The concern, however, is the heavy rain that is projected to be dumped on the area.
"There will be rain for the next 72 hours along the Pacific coast, very heavy rain, torrential rain," said David Korenfeld, head of Mexico's National Water Commission.
Acapulco is still recovering from the effects of tropical storm Manuel, which hit in September.
An estimated 10,000 people are still evacuated from their homes following Manuel. Upon making its first landfall in mid-September, Manuel caused severe flooding, landslides, and general destruction. It was worsened by the fact that it met up with tropical storm Ingrid, which was moving in from the Gulf of Mexico.
Together the two storms killed more than 150 people and caused destruction estimated at $6 billion. In the state of Guerrero, where Acapulco is located, 5,000 people were evacuated from their homes due to flooding, while another 5,000 left because their homes were located on hillsides that posed a risk of landslides. Some have moved in with relatives, but many still reside in shelters.
Officials have acted quickly to get emergency teams mobilized and are considering further evacuations in the face of tropical storm Raymond. They are expected to announce a decision regarding evacuations late Sunday.
They're holding out hope that a cold front moving down from the north will force the storm system westward into the Pacific, minimizing the effect it will have on Mexico's coast. The faster the cold front moves, the more it is expected to lesson the damage caused by Raymond.
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