August 24, 2007 / 1:27 AM / 11 years ago

Hurricane Dean rains pound Mexico

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Heavy rains from Hurricane Dean pounded western Mexico on Thursday after the storm killed at least 10 people in a three-day rampage across the breadth of the country.

A resident removes debris outside his house damaged by Hurricane Dean in the coastal town of Tecolutla, in the Mexican state of Veracruz August 23, 2007. REUTERS/Tomas Bravo

Dean, which has weakened to a tropical depression, caused two rivers and a reservoir to overflow in the mountains of central Hidalgo state and dumped rain as far away as Jalisco, which lies on the Pacific coast.

Two people were killed in Hidalgo when their roof collapsed after a downpour, and a man sheltering under a tree was killed by lightning in Michoacan, emergency services said.

Four others were killed in a mudslide in the eastern Mexican state of Puebla and two other people were reported dead on Wednesday, local emergency services said.

One man drowned trying to cross a river in the Pacific state of Veracruz.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon warned of more accidents and possible deaths even after the hurricane dissipated.

“The danger is not over .. There’s the risk that once the storm has passed ... the earth softens and hills slide onto houses and roofs,” he said during a tour of hurricane-affected areas in Hidalgo, where dozens of houses were destroyed.

Television images showed flooded towns in Veracruz state, flattened palm trees and cars floating in swollen rivers.

Dean damaged Mayan villages and beach resorts in a run across the Yucatan Peninsula on Tuesday, then churned through the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday and slammed into Mexico’s eastern coastline.

The storm was a Category 5 hurricane when it hit the Yucatan, becoming the first storm of that strength to touch land in the Atlantic basin since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

The storm killed at least 27 people in Mexico, Haiti, Jamaica and other parts of the Caribbean region.

Mexico’s state oil monopoly, Pemex, said oil production, 80 percent of which was cut due to the storm, would begin to return to normal on Friday.

Additional reporting by Adriana Barrera

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