Land was well saturated with water and reservoirs were at capacity levels for the start of September, historically the most active month for hurricanes, cold fronts and low pressure areas, triggering the activation of an emergency relief system called Plan MX.
While Hurricane Katia sat in the Gulf of Mexico generating heavy rainfall, President Enrique Peña Nieto activated the plan this week, which in turn coordinates the disaster relief programs of the Secretariats of National Defense and the Navy and that of the Federal Police.
As a result, 4,800 shelters with a total capacity for nearly 820,000 disaster victims have been set up in high-risk areas in the states of Chiapas, Hidalgo, Oaxaca, Puebla, San Luis Potosí, Tlaxcala and Veracruz.
Plan MX is to be tested as soon as this weekend when category 1 Katia makes landfall in the state of Veracruz. The storm, coupled with the second cold front of the season, will bring heavy rainfall to the central and eastern regions of the country for the next five days.
The hurricane comes during a very wet rainy season, which means that the chaos in southern Mexico City yesterday could get worse.
An estimated 11 billion liters of water poured on parts of the city between 5:30 and 9:00pm yesterday, causing flooding and traffic chaos in the southern boroughs of Coyoacán, Tlalpan and Xochimilco. The San Buenaventura river overflowed in the latter, flooding four neighborhoods.
The director of the National Water Commission (Conagua) reported that 46 of the country’s 208 water reservoirs are at maximum capacity.
Source: Milenio (sp)