Two killed as storm hits Mexico

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Mexican coconut vendors try to recover their goods after they were caught unprepared when Tropical Storm Ernesto struck (AP) // Mexican coconut vendors try to recover their goods after they were caught unprepared when Tropical Storm Ernesto struck (AP)
Mexican coconut vendors try to recover their goods after they were caught unprepared when Tropical Storm Ernesto struck (AP)
Tropical Storm Ernesto has hit Mexico, killing two people as it moved inland and began drenching the flood-prone southern Gulf region.
Ernesto made landfall near the port city of Coatzacoalcos after spinning across the far southern Gulf of Mexico in waters dotted with oil rigs operated by the state oil company.
The government closed its largest Gulf coast port, Veracruz, and the smaller ports of Alvarado and Coatzacoalcos.
In neighbouring Tabasco state, two fishermen drowned when the stormed passed through the area, governor Andres Granier told reporters.
Mr Granier said the storm's strong winds ripped rooftops from several homes but residents refused to evacuate, fearing their possessions might be stolen.
"For now, we are monitoring the situation ... people have chosen to stay in their homes and we are helping them," he said.
Coatzacoalcos, a major oil port, already had received seven inches of rain in the 24 hours before Ernesto's centre passed just a few miles away, according to Mexico's weather service. San Pedro in the neighbouring state of Tabasco had seen more than 10 inches.
Juventino Martinez, the civil defence chief in Coatzacoalcos, said: "We have some flooding, some water building up" on streets in lower-lying sections of the city. He said 40 shelters were ready but had not been used yet.
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