MEXICO CITY – Tropical Storm Lidia left at least three people dead, including one child, as it moved up the Baja California Peninsula in northwestern Mexico, officials reported on Friday.
“Officially, there have been two adults and a little two-year-old girl who lost their lives yesterday while fording a river,” national emergency management coordinator Luis Felipe Puente said on Milenio Television, adding that he plans to visit the area Friday afternoon.
Besides the fatalities, Lidia in the last few hours caused flooding, infrastructure damage and forced hundreds of people to evacuate their homes.
The tropical storm is moving inland some 65 kilometers (40 miles) east of Puerto Cortes and 115 kilometers east of Cape San Lazaro, both towns in Baja California Sur, the National Weather Service (NWS) said.
The storm is moving northwest at 15 kph (9 mph) with maximum sustained winds of 95 kph and gusts of up to 110 kph.
The weather system is dropping 259 millimeters (10 inches) of rainfall on Baja California Sur, heavy downpours in Sinaloa and intense rains in Baja California, Sonora and Durango.
At the same time, powerful storms are hitting Chihuahua, Zacatecas, Nayarit, Jalisco and Michoacan, with isolated cloudbursts in Aguascalientes and Colima.
Lidia will also bring gusting winds of more than 80 kph and storm surges of 4 to 5 meters (13 to 16 feet) high along the coasts of Baja California Sur, as well as in the central and southern zones of the Sea of Cortez, and some 3 to 4 meters on the coasts of Sonora, Sinaloa and Baja California.
The twelfth named storm of the season in the Pacific also left 81 flights stranded, a number of airports shut down and a state of emergency declared in five municipalities.
Streams with powerful currents swept away several vehicles and the emergency management agency reported more than 1,000 people seeking refuge in shelters.
The rains also reached the states of Sinaloa, Sonora and Colima, where schools suspended classes, though for now no damages have been reported.