October 6, 2022
11 people are dead and at least 20 are missing after Hurricane Agatha made landfall in southern Mexico, according to top officials from Oaxaca, near where the hurricane first hit land.

At least 11 people are dead and 20 are missing after Hurricane Agatha made landfall in southern Mexico, according to top officials from Oaxaca, near where the hurricane first hit land.

Agatha produced overflowing rivers, destroying houses and creating dangerous mudslides, Gov. Alejandro Murat Hinojosa of the state of Oaxaca announced Tuesday, pinning the blame for the deaths on the hazardous conditions. The storm was a Category 2 hurricane when it struck Mexico’s coast.

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“There were fundamentally two reasons” for the deaths, Murat said, per the Associated Press. “There were rivers that overflowed, and on the other hand, and the most serious part, were landslides.”

Most of the deaths appeared to take place in small towns near the mountains, and there are at least three missing children believed to have been near the resort of Huatulco, Murat said. Power has largely been restored around coastal areas, but key infrastructure, such as bridges and roads, has sustained significant damage, according to Murat.

Sustained winds from Agatha are believed to have reached 105 mph, though that did not last long, according to the National Hurricane Center. The tropical cyclone first attained hurricane formation Sunday and hit Mexico Monday afternoon. It struck a lightly populated slew of small coastal towns near Oaxaca, per multiple reports.

Agatha is the strongest hurricane on record to achieve landfall on the eastern Pacific coast during May, the Associated Press reported. Experts say Agatha is the third known hurricane to hit land in Mexico during the month of May, USA Today reported.

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Remnants are expected to bring heavy rain to other parts of Mexico and Florida over the coming days and could transform into a tropical depression.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently forecasted the 2022 hurricane season will be below normal for the eastern Pacific Ocean. Agatha is the “earliest first hurricane in the eastern North Pacific since 2015 (when Andres also reached hurricane strength on May 29),” noted Philip Klotzbach, a Colorado State University meteorologist.

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