Mexico battered by two severe storms as more than 5,000 evacuated and country prepares for worse

Hurricane Ingrid and Tropical Storm Manuel hit Mexico as country prepares for Independence Day Celebrations

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The Independent US

Mexico is being simultaneously battered by a tropical storm on its western coast and a hurricane on its eastern coast, disrupting the country's Independence Day celebrations.

More than 5,300 people have been evacuated ahead of the full impact of Hurricane Ingrid on Mexico's Gulf Coast, which has already brought winds of 75mph (120kph).

Meanwhile, in a 'one-two punch' that looks set to mar the celebrations planned for today and tomorrow in observance of the country's Independence Day, tropical storm Manuel has dumped almost twice the monthly rainfall in just three days on the country's Pacific Coast.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami is predicting that Ingrid, the second hurricane of the Atlantic storm season, could reach the Mexican mainland early Monday. It currently has top sustained winds of 85 mph (140 kph). 

The Mexican government issued a hurricane warning for the country's western coast, in preparation of the possibility that Manuel - which is currently notching up wind speeds of 70 mph (110 kph) and is about 40 miles (65 kilometers) from the port city of Lazaro Cardenas - may escalate.

So far, the states of Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Chihuahua have been worst hit with some road and telecommunications links badly affected. Most of the evacuees are being housed in official shelters while some are staying with friends and families.

Manuel is expected to bring an additional 10 to 15 inches of rain over parts of Oaxaca and Guerrero with maximums of 25 inches possible in some areas. Authorities said this would present an added threat in mountains, where flash floods and mudslides were possible. Hurricane Ingrid is also was expected to bring more heavy rains.

A bridge collapsed near the northern Veracruz city of Misantla on Friday, cutting it from the state capital. Meanwhile, officials say that two of Mexico's three major oil-exporting ports are closed, although most of the country's Gulf Coast ports were open on Saturday. There were no immediate reports of injuries caused by the storm.

State officials imposed an orange alert, the highest possible, in parts of southern Veracruz.