Thursday, June 20, 2024

4 México state municipalities clean up after severe flooding

Destructive heavy flooding in the northwest outskirts of Mexico City left residents counting their possessions Tuesday in four municipalities of México state.

In Atizapán de Zaragoza, floodwaters rose to 1 1/2 meters in depth and morphed into what locals described as a river. Tlalnepantla, Naucalpan and Zumpango were also hit by flooding.

Four thousand inhabitants from 24 neighborhoods were severely affected in Atizapán, as well as 227 houses, the general hospital and dozens of fences and trees, according to data from the government of Atizapán. Mayor Ruth Olvera Nieto said her office had requested the deluge be categorized as a natural disaster.

More than 60 mm of rain and hail fell during a two-hour deluge and caused five rivers to overflow their banks.

Dozens of patients were evacuated from the General Salvador González Herrejón hospital in Atizapán and transferred to other nearby facilities after severe flooding.

Floodwaters in Atizapán.
Floodwaters in Atizapán.

One man died of hypothermia in Tlalnepantla when he was trapped in his car for three hours after it was covered in hail. Three other trapped motorists were rescued and admitted to hospitals with symptoms of hypothermia.

On the block where grandmother Juana Díaz lives, six families — 60 people — lost everything in the flood.

For 30 minutes, Juana floated on a mattress with her three grandchildren which she said saved their lives. “When the rain fell the fence broke and the river came: it was a river. I was with my three grandchildren and my daughter, the only thing that saved us was the mattress,” she said.

“I’m calm. Everything was lost but my children are safe and sound. That is what I care about,” she added.

Resident Milton Mendoza described the material damage, and called for assistance. “In all the houses the water rose up to a meter and a half [affecting] washing machines, refrigerators, boilers,” he said.

“We need [authorities] to come and sanitize the entire area. We are fighting against Covid-19 and now with a flood of sewage-contaminated water,” he added.

The aftermath of a hailstorm in Tlalnepantla.
The aftermath of a hailstorm in Tlalnepantla.

Daniela Reséndiz said the flood had stripped her family of valuable possessions. “We barely had time to rescue a few things, the water didn’t stop. The drains were not deep enough … In my house we lost two cars, the living room and dining room,” she said.

Cecilia Torres feared the worst amid the chaos. “We thought we were going to die. I swear,” she revealed.

With reports from El Siglo de Torreón, Infobae and Reforma

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