The official death toll from the cold snap in northern Mexico has risen to 20 after two states reported six more deaths.
Most of the fatalities occurred in Tamaulipas and were either from exposure or from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by heaters. One death was reported in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, where a man died on the street from exposure.
Low temperatures accompanying cold front No. 35 prompted the state of Chihuahua on Thursday and Friday to begin distributing 13 tonnes of basic foodstuffs as well as cash payments to families, senior citizens and people with disabilities in various cities and towns.
According to the state’s Ministry of Social Development, Governor Javier Corral instructed the department to empty completely all its stores of provisions to help those in need.
“… It won’t be easy, but everything we have, we’re going to use immediately,” the ministry’s Ramón Galindo Noriega told the newspaper Milenio.
According to the national weather service, there’s more cold weather on the way.
Cold front No. 36 and Mexico’s 10th winter storm are delivering a new polar air mass that will result in snow or sleet in areas of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León and Sonora.
Temperatures will drop to lows of -10 to -15 C in parts of Coahuila, while areas of Chihuahua, Durango, Nuevo León and Tamaulipas will see lows of -5 to -10 C.
The front currently extends into the Valley of México, where higher altitudes in México state will see temperatures drop to -5 to -10 C. In Mexico City, forecast lows are 0 to -5 C.
The front is forecast to move over the west and southeast of the country and gradually move into the west side of the Yucatán Peninsula.