Mex­ico air­lifts tourists after Hur­ri­cane Odile

The Covington News - - THE WIRE -

CABO SAN LU­CAS, Mex­ico (AP) — The Mex­i­can gov­ern­ment be­gan air­lift­ing the first of thou­sands of stranded tourists out of the hur­ri­cane-rav­aged re­sort area of Los Ca­bos on Tues­day, as res­i­dents picked up the pieces of shat­tered, flooded homes.

The In­te­rior Min­istry said mil­i­tary and com­mer­cial planes were car­ry­ing trav­el­ers out through the Los Ca­bos in­ter­na­tional air­port, which re­mained closed to com­mer­cial flights due to dam­age suf­fered when Hur­ri­cane Odile tore through the area late Sun­day and Mon­day.

Images on Mex­i­can tele­vi­sion showed the ter­mi­nal full of de­bris, but Min­istry of­fi­cial Jose Maria Tapia told Mile­nio Tele­vi­sion ear­lier that the run­way was us­able and work was nearly com­plete to make the con­trol tower op­er­a­ble.

Trav­el­ers were be­ing flown free of charge to air­ports in Ti­juana, Mazat­lan, Guadala­jara and Mex­ico City to catch con­nect­ing flights and, in the case of for­eign­ers, re­ceive con­sular as­sis­tance.

Thou­sands in the state of Baja Cal­i­for­nia Sur re­mained with­out elec­tric­ity, wa­ter or phone ser­vice. A boat was on its way with hu­man­i­tar­ian aid, and au­thor­i­ties were work­ing to re­store util­i­ties.

Pres­i­dent En­rique Pena Ni­eto was sched­uled to tour the area later, after pre­sid­ing over an in­de­pen­dence day mil­i­tary pa­rade in the cap­i­tal.

Down­graded to a trop­i­cal storm, Odile con­tin­ued to soak parts of the Baja Cal­i­for­nia Penin­sula, and fore­cast­ers said it was still ca­pa­ble of un­leash­ing dan­ger­ous flash floods and mud­slides.

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