Mexican officials under fire for storm preparation

Sept. 27, 2013 at 9:20 AM
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MEXICO CITY, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- The Mexican Senate has called for an investigation after criticisms that government officials failed to act on warnings of deadly storms earlier this month.

The federal government said Wednesday 139 people died two weeks ago when Tropical Storm Manuel struck the Pacific coast of the country as Hurricane Ingrid devastated the Gulf Coast region.

Some critics said the devastation wouldn't have been as bad had local officials heeded storm warnings earlier and had they not allowed shoddy construction, which exacerbated the destruction, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

"We develop in unbuildable zones; we build with garbage; we design without planning," Reforma columnist Jesus Silva-Herzog Marquez said. "Some do business, others die."

Angel Aguirre, governor of Guerrero, has come under particular fire for attending an all-night party and drinking as the storms first bore down on his region.

Aguirre acknowledged political corruption and payoffs have led to the construction of homes and hotels in unsafe areas during a televised speech about the extent of storm damage.

The Senate has demanded an investigation into the amount of preparation officials took in advance of the storm and how they have responded since, the Times reported.

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