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Classes canceled, residents displaced in hurricane-hit areas of Mexico

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • NEW: Mexican President Felipe Calderon will tour the area Monday
  • More than 3,500 people are living in shelters
  • Classes are canceled in 11 municipalities in Veracruz state
  • Hurricane Karl, a Category 3 storm at the time, came ashore Friday

Veracruz, Mexico (CNN) -- More than 3,500 people took refuge in 19 Veracruz state shelters, and school classes were canceled Monday in 11 municipalities after flooding caused by Hurricane Karl, which made landfall Friday in southeastern Mexico, the government-run news agency said.

Mexico's Interior Ministry has declared a state of emergency in 62 municipalities in Veracruz, making them eligible for federal funding, the Notimex news service said.

Thousands of stranded residents, some of them on rooftops, waited to be rescued Monday.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon is scheduled to tour the area Monday, getting a first-hand look at the damage caused by flooding from overflowing rivers and canals. He will be accompanied by several federal and state officials. Among them will be National Defense Secretary Guillermo Galvan Galvan, Navy Secretary Mariano Francisco Saynez Mendoza, Social Development Secretary Heriberto Felix and Civil Protection chief Laura Gurza, Notimex said.

After a flyover and on-the-ground tour aboard a military vehicle and on foot, Calderon is slated to hold a meeting in Veracruz to discuss the situation.

Hurricane Karl, which made landfall as a Category 3 storm, caused seven deaths and the evacuation of 40,000 people, Notimex said. In addition, the homes of 500,000 residents were damaged.

Hardest-hit have been the municipalities of Veracruz, Boca del Rio, Cotaxtla, Medellin and Jamapa. In Veracruz and Boca del Rio, the Jamapa River and two canals overflowed and flooded large segments of the cities.

There were reports of looting in Veracruz, in the central part of the state with the same name.

The military has been deployed at several points throughout the state, which borders the Gulf of Mexico.