At least 200 people were reported still missing in Monterrey from the single most deadly blow of Hurricane Gilbert, which left 106 dead in widespread flooding after it caught the inland city by surprise.
The latest official report Monday pushed the official toll in Mexico to 142 dead after Gilbert left a swath of destruction across the Caribbean and lashed northeast Mexico Friday.Thousands remained stranded in shelters Monday as the hurricane, which last week was the most powerful Atlantic storm on record, dwindled in the United States over the weekend into a tropical depression and Monday broke up as rain storms over the northern Plains.
Overall, Gilbert's weeklong 2,000-mile rampage killed at least 239 people, including 36 in Jamaica, 29 in Haiti, 13 in Honduras, nine in the Dominican Republic, five in Venezuela, three in Texas and two in Costa Rica.
Emergency officials in Monterrey, 425 miles north of Mexico City, said the death toll could go much higher in the city once all bodies have been recovered from along the Santa Catarina River, whose waters have receded.
"The situation seems to be under control, the sun has come out, the river has now completely gone down," said Jose Maria Alanes, a reporter for the Diario de Monterrey newspaper.
Alanes said thousands of families remained stranded in shelters Monday, two days after floods left a trail of destruction in Monterrey.
Workers Monday in Monterrey, a city of 4 million and the nation's industrial center, frantically searched along the river looking for more victims of Saturday's flooding.
The Nuevo Leon Civil Protection Committee, the official disaster committee for the state of which Monterrery is the capital, said 16 more bodies were found Monday afternoon, in addition to the 22 found in the morning, raising the death toll in Monterrey to 106.