Monday, June 24, 2024

1,000 homes flooded in México state after Lerma river bursts its banks

Around 1,000 homes were flooded in México state Saturday after the Lerma river burst its banks following heavy rains, state authorities said.

The river, Mexico’s second longest, overflowed in the municipality of San Mateo Atenco, about 15 kilometers east of the state capital Toluca.

Homes and agricultural fields in the neighborhood of San Pedro were directly affected by the river runoff, which overwhelmed drainage systems and caused more flooding of houses in the neighborhoods of San Juan, San Nicolás, San Francisco, Santiago and Guadalupe.

Personnel from the army, the state Secretariat of Security, the municipal police and Civil Protection services carried out an operation to assist affected residents.

Staff from the México state Water Commission (Caem) and the National Water Commission (Conagua) placed thousands of sandbags and rocks along the river bank to prevent further flooding while municipal authorities set up four shelters for affected residents.

“It was about three o’clock in the morning [Saturday] when we heard a lot of voices and went outside to find that there was already drainage water approaching so we started to raise the things in our home on breeze blocks,” said Francisco Valencia, a resident of San Juan.

“It’s been about 12 or 13 years since the last flood as big as this one, we hadn’t suffered since then with wastewater [flooding] but unfortunately it’s happened to us again . . .”

Virginia Maldonado, a resident of the San Francisco neighborhood, told the newspaper Reforma that she was concerned about health problems that the flooding could cause.

“The bad thing for us is that blood from the municipal abattoir came in [to our home], all the water that came in is from the drains. The smell and the risk of infections and diseases is what is affecting us,” she said.

Officials from the Secretariat of Health were deployed to evaluate health risks in the flood-affected areas.

State Civil Protection services said this morning that joint efforts to “restore normality” to the lives of San Mateo Atenco residents are continuing but are expected to conclude shortly.

More heavy rain, possibly accompanied by an electrical storm and hail, is forecast for México state later today, the National Meteorological Service said, while the state government warned residents via Twitter to take precautions.

Source: Reforma (sp), Capital (sp)

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