Mexico airlifts tourists after Hurricane Odile
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.