57ºF

Death toll from Mexico twister climbs to 13

Councilman: 'There are cars inside of houses'

photo

MEXICO CITY – The death toll from the tornado in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Acuna has risen to 13.

Coahuila state spokeswoman Rosario Cano says the number rose with the discovery of more bodies.

The head of Mexico's national civil defense agency, Luis Felipe Puente, told local media that 230 people had been injured and that shelters are being set up.

The twister hit shortly after daybreak on Monday. It destroyed homes, upended cars and ripped an infant in a baby carrier from its mother's arms. The child is missing.

Ciudad Acuna is a city of about 100,000 across the border from Del Rio.

Councilman: 'There are cars inside of houses'

Cuidad Acuna City Councilman Jaime Garza said the tornado touched down just before 6 a.m. as many people in town were getting ready for work and buses were en route to take children to school.

He said within a matter of seconds, the tornado destroyed hundreds of homes and tossed cars and school buses around like toys.

"We are providing seven shelters with beds and food for the people because some of the houses were completely destroyed," Garza said.

Garza said the twister hit in a residential neighborhood on the southwest side of town.

At last count, he said, close to 1,000 homes were damaged, and nearly 15,000  customers were left without power.

Photos posted on social media sites show dozens of damaged vehicles, including some cars with their hoods ripped off, resting upended against single-story houses. Several other pictures show houses that collapsed.

"It probably damaged two city streets and it destroyed cars and trucks," Garza said. "There are cars inside of houses and houses completely destroyed."

Rescue workers began digging through the rubble of damaged homes in a race to find more victims by midday Monday.

Garza said the city is requesting humanitarian aid in the form of powdered milk (adult and infant), diapers (adult and infant), non-perishable food items, cleaning supplies, wheelchairs, and water.

All items should be dropped off at the Border One Stop located at the corner of Las Vacas and Spur 239 or at the Del Rio Civic Center. City officials say do not attempt to transport aid across the border in order to expedite this process.

Below are images sent in by KSAT viewers of the damage in Ciudad Acuna: