Tropical Storm Ernesto has gradually weakened down to a tropical depression as it has moved into inland Mexico, killing 7 people in its wake. It has been raining in the flood-prone areas of Mexico’s southern Gulf region where Ernesto had been situated at. In Veracruz state, a teenage girl who had been riding in a car had been killed early Friday morning when she had been caught in a river current and a 62-year old man had been struck by lightning. According to the Veracruz state civil protection department in Mexico, 3 members of a family had died Thursday night at a time when strong winds caused a tree to fall on their car. The deceased included an 8-year old child, his mother and his 38-year old father.
In neighboring Tabasco state, two fishermen had been drowned as Ernesto had passed through the state, according to Tabasco state Governor Andres Granier in a meeting with reporters. The Governor had said that Ernesto’s winds had ripped apart rooftops from homes in the area. However at a time when many of the residents had refused to evacuate in the fear of losing their properties, “People have chosen to stay in their homes and we are helping them,” he said.
Tropical Storm Ernesto had been spotted ashore early Thursday near the waters where oil rigs are operated upon by the state oil company in the region of the southern part of Gulf of Mexico. As a result, the government has closed the port of Veracruz as well as the smaller ports of Coatzacoalcos and Alvarado.
According to the National Hurricane Center of the US, Ernesto had sustained winds that decreased to 35 mph by early Friday. Ernesto has continued to weaken but according to the center, it can continue to dole out rainfall as it dissipates.