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Damage reports grow in mid-Baja in wake of tropical storm Jimena

September 3, 2009 |  1:11 pm
Residents look at lamp posts knocked down by Hurricane Jimena in Puerto San Carlos, Baja California Sur.
Baja Bush Pilots has been monitoring the damage caused by hurricane/tropical storm Jimena in northern Baja  California Sur. The situation, as reported earlier Thursday on Outposts, is bleak for many residents and disheartening for Baja aficionados who have grown fond of the region and its people.

Here's the midday update from the Bush Pilots, based not only on flyovers but reports from residents --before phone service went out, and in one instance a ham radio -- and members close to the situation:

-- Matancitas (Lopez Mateos): Almost 90% of structures are down or severely damaged. No water, power or telephone service.

-- Ciudad Constitucion: Most roofs are gone; severe damage to 70% of the buildings. No water, power or telephone service.

-- Loreto: No power or telephone service. Lines are down, trees are down. Buildings are damaged. The airport is closed.

-- Mulege: No water, power or telephone service. Water crested three feet above the bridge. Water was 2 feet deep in the fire station, which would mean that almost the entire town was flooded.  There have been reports of loss of life. (Outposts has learned at least one man has died, according to authorities.)

-- Punta Chivato: One person indicates that the wind was over 100 mph before the indicator broke.  Damage to almost everything.  We should hear about the condition of the strip sometime today.

-- Santa Rosalia: Wall of water came down the canyon and through the town, washed cars, etc., into the ocean.

Based on these reports, mid-Baja would seem to be disaster central. The Red Cross will have its hands full over the next several days. And a team from the U.S. Aid Disaster Assistance humanitarian group reportedly is in the area. Hopefully, the worst has passed.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Residents look at lamp posts knocked down by Hurricane Jimena in Puerto San Carlos, Baja California Sur. Credit: Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images

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