Mexico storms kill at least 80, leave thousands stranded (PHOTOS)



Residents wait for help in Acapulco, state of Guerrero, Mexico, on Sept. 17, 2013 as heavy rains hit the country.



Storms across Mexico have killed at least 80 people, and the death toll is likely to rise, as thousands remain cut off from aid and stranded in the Pacific resort town of Acapulco.

On Wednesday night, President Enrique Pena Nieto said 58 people were missing after a "major landslide" in La Pintada, a village of 400 people in the mountains of southwestern Guerrero state.

At least 15 bodies had been pulled from the rubble, and more were expected to be found. "We are not sure for the moment how many people are trapped under the mud," Pena Nieto told AFP.

Floodwater and landslides have blocked access routes, preventing emergency support to the area, after two major storms, Manuel and Ingrid, hit Mexico within less than 24 hours. With some 40,000 tourists stranded, hotels have reportedly begun to ration food.

Authorities estimate it will be another two days before the main highway to Acapulco is operational. The Acapulco international airport is still struggling with flood water, though at least two airlines were usable, as well as a military base. Some 2,000 tourists have been evacuated so far.

About 23,000 homes, many bordering Acapulco, are without electricity and water, according to city officials. Some observers have said remote communities may be the worst affected.

One tourist told Reuters she was forced to pawn jewelry for food.

"I had to go to a pawn shop to leave some jewelry to get money to be able to eat and pay for accommodation," Cristina Dominguez Navarro told the news wire.

"We came with just enough money for three days and now we have been here for five," she added. "I don't know what we'll do if they don't open the motorway soon."

In the state of Veracruz, more than 20,000 people have been evacuated. About 1 million people have been affected by the two storms.

The United States National Hurricane Center warned that while both storms had significantly weakened, Ingrid is still liable to create deadly floods and mudslides in eastern Mexico.