Tropical Storm Arlene kills at least 10 in Mexico

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MEXICO CITY (BNO NEWS) — The Mexican government on Sunday said the death toll as a result of Tropical Storm Arlene and its aftermath has risen to at least 10. Arlene made landfall in northeastern Mexico earlier this week and has since dissipated but has continued to bring heavy rains to the region.

The weather system emerged in the western Caribbean sea on June 25, producing cloudiness and scattered showers over parts of Honduras and Nicaragua. It later became better organized as it moved into the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in the formation of a tropical storm on Tuesday evening. Arlene made landfall on Thursday morning near Cabo Rojo in Mexico’s Veracruz state.


The storm brought heavy rains and winds to mainly Veracruz state but also surrounding states such as Tamaulipas, Hidalgo, Queretaro, Puebla, Oaxaca and San Luis Potosi as it moved further inland, causing flooding and landslides in some areas. Disaster declarations were issued for hundreds of municipalities due to the effects of the storm, prompting thousands of people to be evacuated.

In Hidalgo state, remnants of Arlene have killed at least five people due to landslides, flooding from canals and rivers, and falling trees. At least 20 homes were destroyed, while hundreds more sustained damage.

In other states, at least five more people have been killed as a result of several incidents in relation to Arlene and its remnants. An unknown number of people were injured, and the Mexican government said it feared the death toll would rise.

As of early Sunday morning, the remnant low of Arlene is located about 200 miles (321 kilometers) south of the southern tip of Baja California, according to John Cangialosi, a hurricane specialist at the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC). He said showers and thunderstorms associated with the system had continued to diminish since Saturday.

Arlene was the first named storm of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season. According to figures released in May, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is expecting an above-normal hurricane season in the Atlantic this year. The outlook calls for 12 to 18 named storms, with six to ten becoming hurricanes and three to six expected to become a major hurricane (category 3 or higher).

An average Atlantic hurricane season produces 11 named storms, with six becoming hurricanes and two becoming major hurricanes. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30, with peak activity in September.

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