Storm Maroons 40K Tourists in Acapulco

All fighting for tickets on the few flights out

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 18, 2013 9:08 AM CDT

(Newser) – Probably not the beach holiday they were hoping for: An estimated 40,000 tourists are stuck in Acapulco, after the Mexican resort was flooded and hit with 13 landslides thanks to Tropical Storm Manuel. Some 2,000 have already been evacuated, but the rest are stuck fighting for a coveted ticket on one of the two airlines still operating, or taking their chances with military evacuation operations. The AP describes families waiting outside a local Air Force base for up to eight hours yesterday, then jostling "furiously" for one of the 125 seats on a departing plane headed for Mexico City.

"It's probably one of the worst holidays I've ever been on," says one tourist. "It wasn't really a holiday, more of an incarceration." Meanwhile, the lack of electricity has left tourists without access to ATMs, reports Reuters, leaving many high and, er, dry. " I had to go to a pawn shop to leave some jewelry to get money to be able to eat and pay for accommodation," says one visiting woman. "We came with just enough money for three days and now we have been here for five. ... I don't know what we'll do if they don't open the motorway soon. "

Hundreds of stranded tourists gather around a Mexican Air Force jet as they wait to be evacuated, at the air base in Pie de la Cuesta, near Acapulco, Mexico.   (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
Villagers stand next to a bound and blindfolded crocodile, that escaped from a crocodile farm during the floods caused by Tropical storm Manuel in the Pacific resort city of Acapulco, Mexico.   (AP Photo/Bernandino Hernandez)
A young boy sits on the tarmac of a military airbase in hopes of getting a seat on a Mexican Air Force jet flight, in Pie de la Cuesta, near Acapulco, Mexico.   (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
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