Wednesday, June 19, 2024

5 deaths linked to cold weather in Chihuahua

The cold weather being felt throughout Mexico this week has led to the deaths of five people in the northern state of Chihuahua.

Three of the deaths occurred in the state capital of Chihuahua city, which sits 1,440 meters (4,724 feet) above sea level. Temperatures of -10 degrees Celsius had been predicted overnight in nearby mountainous regions.

Forecasts show more cold weather may be pushing into the north of the country. (SMN)

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, two men were discovered dead from what was believed to be hypothermia after falling asleep outdoors in sub-zero temperatures Celsius (below 32 degrees Fahrenheit), according to Chihuahua municipal police.

One of the deceased was a man, between 45 to 50 years old, found on a sidewalk in the Deportistas neighborhood. About 11 km away, a deceased elderly man with crutches next to him was found on the sidewalk. The Heraldo local newspaper reported that his nickname was “El Muletas” (Crutches) and that residents had seen him under the influence of some substance the day before, which was common.

Another person in Chihuahua city died in a house fire caused by a defective heater. This tragedy occurred on Monday shortly after 10 p.m., and it didn’t take long for the house to be totally consumed by flames.

Some 350 km to the north in the border city of Ciudad Juárez, an elderly couple died from what was presumably carbon monoxide poisoning after also using a poorly maintained heater to warm their home in the Parajes de Oriente neighborhood.

Odors coming from the residence prompted neighbors to notify the authorities, who believe the couple had been dead for at least a day or two. Local officials are now warning residents to take caution with heaters. 

The low temperatures were generated by a massive cold front that has since dissipated – but don’t reach for the tank top just yet, unless you are on the coast or at low elevations. On Wednesday, the National Meteorological Service (SMN) reported a new cold front approaching the northwest.

Meanwhile, in southern Mexico, farmlands and forested areas were hit by frost overnight Tuesday. This phenomenon occurred in Chiapas, Puebla, Veracruz and Oaxaca.

According to observers, Alchichica Lagoon, a crater lake on the Central Mexican Plateau, was practically frozen Wednesday morning. The lake sits at 2,300 meters (7,545 feet) above sea level and has a depth of 60 meters (197 feet).

The new cold front approaching northeastern Mexico on Thursday and Friday is predicted to bring temperatures of -10 Celsius to the highest regions of the country, along with frost to high-altitude areas of 10 states.

With reports from La Jornada and El Heraldo de Chihuahua

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