Aug 10, 2016

Mexico's Highest Death Toll From an Atlantic Storm Since 1988: 45 Killed in Earl

Heroica Veracruz, Ver.
Jeff Masters
Weather Underground

Hurricane Earl, reinvigorated to a strong tropical storm with 60 mph winds as it passed over the southernmost portion of Mexico's Bay of Campeche on Friday, August 5, dropped torrential rains in excess of twelve inches over the coastal mountains of Mexico east of Mexico City over the weekend, unleashing flash floods and mudslides that are being blamed for 45 deaths in Mexico. This is an unusually high death toll for Mexico, which prides itself on its excellent civil defense efforts that usually keep hurricane death tolls quite low. According to EM-DAT, the international disaster database, the last Atlantic hurricane to exact a higher death toll than Earl in Mexico was Hurricane Gilbert of 1988, which hit Cozumel and the Yucatan Peninsula as a Category 5 storm, killing 240 people in the nation. There have been three Pacific hurricanes since 1988 to have higher death tolls in Mexico, though--Hurricane Manuel of 2013 (169 killed), Hurricane Pauline of 1997 (220 killed), and Hurricane Ismael of 1995 (105 killed.)