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39 killed by mudslides in Mexico, Javier aims for Baja

A pickup truck lays destroyed next to a house damaged by a mudslide in Xaltepec, on the mountainous north of Puebla state, Mexico, Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016. The death toll from the remnants of Hurricane Earl grows to more than 30 in Mexico as a new tropical storm forms off the country's Pacific Coast. (AP Photo/Pablo Spencer)

Tropical Storm Javier pushed closer to the resort city of Cabo San Lucas on the tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula Monday, while the death toll from former Hurricane Earl rose to 39 in the country’s eastern mountains.

Communities in two states were digging out from weekend mudslides during heavy rains brought by remnants of Earl, which slammed into Mexico’s Gulf coast.

Javier was expected to brush Cabo San Lucas late Monday and continue raking the Pacific coast of the Baja peninsula.

Javier was located about 100 miles (160 kilometers) southeast of Cabo San Lucas early Monday, with winds of 50 mph (85 kph), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

Javier was moving northwest, on a path that could take it inland further up the peninsula on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Among the casualties of Earl, at least 28 people died in multiple mudslides in the mountainous north of Puebla state, National Civil Protection Coordinator Luis Felipe Puente said Sunday in an interview with ForoTV. He said 25 were killed in different parts of the township of Huauchinango and three died in the hamlet of Tlaola.

“It is a tragedy what has happened to our people in Huauchinango,” Gabriel Alvarado, the township’s mayor.

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In neighboring Veracruz state, 11 people lost their lives when mudslides hit the towns of Coscomatepec, Tequila and Huayacocotla, Gov. Javier Duarte said.

The continuing heavy rain led officials to close a section of the main federal highway connecting Mexico City to the region. Federal transportation authorities said the area had received a month’s worth of rain in 24 hours.

A hurricane warning was in effect for the southern tip of Baja California. A hurricane watch and tropical storm warning was in effect for parts of the peninsula farther north.