MEXICO CITY – The death toll from Tropical Storm Lidia, which hit northwestern Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula late last week, has risen to six, President Enrique Peña Nieto said.
The president traveled to Baja California Sur state on Saturday to get a firsthand look at the damage caused by the tropical storm.
Peña Nieto and first lady Angelica Rivera visited the city of Los Cabos, the area hit hardest by the storm.
The president met with local officials and later held a press conference to discuss the storm.
Peña Nieto told reporters that the storm killed five people in Los Cabos and one person in Loreto.
About 1,000 people from high-risk zones were still in shelters on Saturday, the president said.
The majority of the people still in shelters lost their dwellings, which were located in “irregular places” and high-risk areas, such as riverbanks, Peña Nieto said.
Federal, state and local officials are working together to help residents affected by the tropical storm, which unleashed torrential rains on the state, the president said.
Baja California Sur gets an average of about 260 millimeters (10.2 inches) of rain annually, but Lidia dumped 750 millimeters (29.5 inches) of rain on the state in just 24 hours, Peña Nieto said.
Communications and Transportation Secretariat crews are working to repair highways affected by the storm and alternate routes have been cleared, the president said.
The stretches of highway damaged by the storm will be repaired “in a period no longer than a month,” Peña Nieto said.
Water and electric service, which “was not significantly damaged,” should be restored by Monday, the president said.
On Monday, about 90 percent of schools are expected to open, Peña Nieto said.
The tourism industry, the main engine of Baja California’s economy, did not experience serious losses in the storm, the president said.