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Several killed as Storm Alberto hits Mexico

June 20, 2024

Tropical Storm Alberto hit Mexico's Gulf coast, killing at least three in the state of Nuevo Leon. The storm is expected to strengthen a little before weakening on Thursday.

Members of Civil Protection work on a slope flooded by heavy rains in Monterrey, Mexico on June 19, 2024.
The storm caused authorities in Nueva Leon state to temporarily suspend transportImage: Miguel Sierra/EPA

Storm Alberto hit the coast of northeastern Mexico near the US border, bringing heavy rains late on Wednesday and killing at least three people. 

The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said the storm was located about 135 miles (217 kilometers) east of the Mexican port of Tampico, with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (80 kph) — below hurricane strength.

"Heavy rains, coastal flooding, and gusty winds forecast to continue through the morning along the coasts of Texas and Northeastern Mexico," the NHC said on X. The agency added that the storm could strengthen slightly overnight.

Mexico's national water commission Conagua has issued a warning of flooding, swollen rivers and landslides in the storm's path. The NHC has also predicted the same and warned of the possibility of tornadoes in Texas. 

Authorities welcome rain amid extreme droughts

The center of Storm Alberto is likely to make landfall in Mexico's northern Tamaulipas state, which shares a border with the US state of Texas. It is expected to bring heavy rains, strong winds and flooding but will likely weaken quickly.

Tamaulipas residents and officials suggested that the rain is welcome as the region is in need of water, amid extreme droughts.

"The [wind] speeds are not such as to consider it a risk," Tamaulipas state Secretary of Hydrological Resources Raul Quiroga Alvarez told reporters on Wednesday, as authorities downplayed the risk posed by Storm Alberto. "This is a win-win event for Tamaulipas."

Authorities in the state closed schools for the rest of the week due to the risk of localized flooding.

Transport suspended in Nuevo Leon

In the northern state of Nuevo Leon, a 15-year-old died in the La Silla River in the city of Monterrey. Two minors also died from electrical shocks while riding bicycles in the rain in the municipality of Allende, civil protection authorities and local media reports said.

Nuevo Leon Governor Samuel Garcia announced public transportation services would be suspended in Monterrey from Wednesday night to Thursday noon.

Garcia advised residents to stay home and said authorities were prepared to deal with the impact on power supply, water and sewage systems.

Visuals posted on social media showed flooding in some coastal parts of Texas and Louisiana.

The Atlantic has entered its hurricane season, and Alberto is the first named storm for this year.

US storms and tornadoes leave path of destruction

tg/rmt (AP, Reuters)