LA Group Helps Mexico Cities Pummeled by Storms

More than 3 million Angelenos have ties to a Mexican heritage

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The death toll is rising in Mexico after the nation was hammered by twin storms in a single week. Small towns have flooded villages and have left thousands of people and vacationers stranded in Acapulco. In Southern California, aid supplies are being packed up to help those who need it the most. Vikki Vargas reports from Santa Ana for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Sept. 19, 2013. (Published Thursday, Sep 19, 2013)

    A relief group in Los Angeles, a city with a rich Mexican heritage, is calling on the public to help provide aid to a Mexican city devastated by two deadly hurricanes.

    Twin storms, hurricanes Ingrid and Manuel, slammed Mexico this week. Hurricane Ingrid hit the Gulf Coast on Monday, while Manuel landed on the country's northern flank Thursday.

    A growing death toll climbed to 80 Thursday afternoon, NBC News reports.

    As of Thursday, 40,000 tourists were stranded in the popular beach resort town of Acapulco, a city of more than 650,000 residents about 185 miles southwest of Mexico's capital, Mexico City.

    Rescue and relief efforts have been hindered by unrelenting rains that turned streets into muddy rivers.

    Operation USA, a Los Angeles-based international relief agency, is assessing the needs of Acapulco and the surrounding area.

    Richard Walden, CEO of Operation USA, said the organization shares a special connection with Mexico.

    "There are over 3 million people of Mexican heritage living in LA," he said.

    Walden said the first step in a relief effort like this is usually sending in emergency supplies like generators, flashlights and blankets, though flooding may make transporting those supplies difficult.

    Operation USA is calling on the public to donate to the relief effort by visiting donate.opusa.org, calling 1-800-678-7255 or sending a check to Operation USA at PO Box 36188, Los Angeles, CA 90036-9998.

    You can also donate $10 by texting AID to 50555.

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