Latin America & Caribbean

Mexico storms: Main road to Acapulco reopened

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe BBC's Will Grant: "The village of La Pintada has almost been wiped off the map"

Mexican authorities say they have partially reopened the main motorway link between the seaside resort of Acapulco and the capital, Mexico City.

The road had been closed since the start of the week, when Tropical Storm Manuel caused floods and mudslides.

At least 600 buses are going to transport out the 20,000-plus tourists who are still stranded, officials say.

Meanwhile, rescue operations continue as nearly 70 people are missing in one village on the Pacific coast.

The gradual clean-up of parts of the state of Guerrero is revealing the full extent of human suffering, the BBC's Will Grant in Mexico City says.

In La Pintada, one coffee grower told reporters he lost 30 members of his family in the mudslides which engulfed most of the village on Monday.

About 100 people were killed by storms that hit the country earlier in the week.

Elsewhere in Guerrero, as well as the neighbouring Oaxaca and Michoacan states, residents still face flooding.

Reports about water-borne and insect-borne diseases are increasing, and the Mexican Red Cross says medical supplies are a priority.

Image caption La Pintada was partially buried by a landslide, with scores of people still missing

With the re-opening of the main highway between Acapulco and Mexico City, officials hope to transport about 22,000 remaining stranded tourists out of the beach town.

About 600 free buses are expected to circulate to and from the capital.

Earlier in the week, an airlift was put in place, but the reopening of the road is expected to speed up the return.

A helicopter involved in the rescue effort in the area has disappeared with three crew on board, according to Mexican media.

Meanwhile, President Enrique Pena Nieto cancelled a planned trip to the UN in New York next week to focus on relief efforts.

Image caption In the state of Sinaloa, Hurricane Manuel left a path of destruction

Tropical Storm Manuel, which on Thursday briefly became a hurricane, affected 100,000 people in Sinaloa state, the government says.

As it hit land, Manuel brought torrential rain and winds of up to 120km/h (75mph) and caused flash floods.

At least 15 towns were cut off from the rest of the state by water and mud.

Meanwhile, humanitarian aid pledges are starting to flow in.

A donation collection is under way in Mexico City, with citizens food and basic items to the main square, the Zocalo, to be distributed to the worst affected areas, the BBC's Will Grant says.

The Mexican government says it will invest an initial $11m (£7.2m) to create jobs in the affected areas.

The White House offered $250,000 (£156,000) in emergency aid to the Mexican Red Cross via the government's aid agency, USAID.

The Inter-American Development Bank pledged $400,000 (£250,000), while the United Nations offered its help to gather funds and aid.

More on this story