Katia leaves thousands without power

  • 10/09/2017
Katia and Irma barrel down on North America.
Katia and Irma barrel down on North America. Photo credit: Reuters/NASA

Two people have died in a mudslide in Mexico sparked by storm Katia and thousands have been left without power as the weather front dissipated inland.

The two people died in Xalapa, the capital of Veracruz state, when mud loosened from a hillside by Katia's rains trapped them in their home, Luis Felipe Puente, head of Mexico's national emergency services, told Reuters on Saturday.

Katia weakened rapidly after hitting the land on Friday night, although Veracruz Governor Miguel Angel Yunes said the storm had left about 70,000 people without electricity and caused damage in 53 of the Gulf state's 212 municipalities.

The US National Hurricane Center said that as a tropical depression, Katia was blowing maximum sustained winds of 56km/h as it dissipated over the mountains of central eastern Mexico by midmorning on Saturday.

Mexico is dealing with the aftermath of a huge quake that struck on Thursday night, and President Enrique Pena Nieto said on Friday that Katia could be especially dangerous in hillsides rocked by the magnitude 8.1 tremor.

The earthquake, the strongest to strike Mexico in more than 80 years, killed at least 61 people.

Katia was about 200km west northwest of the port of Veracruz by midmorning on Saturday, the NHC said, noting that the threat of heavy rainfall continued.

Officials in Veracruz warned that Katia could cause landslides and flooding, and they urged people to evacuate vulnerable areas.

Mexican emergency services said this week that Katia was worrisome because it is very slow moving and could dump a lot of rain on areas that have been saturated in recent weeks.