The Mexican Army has maintained a near permanent airlift service to remote towns spread across the rough terrain of the state of Oaxaca after months of severe weather.
It all began with tropical storm Beatriz in June and the weather hasn’t let up since. As of today, 22 people have died so far this year as a consequence of heavy rainfall.
In response to continuing heavy rainfall and the risk of rivers overflowing in six of the state’s eight regions — Mixteca, Cañada, Cuenca, Costa and the two Sierras — the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena) has activated its disaster relief program, Plan DN III.
The military continues to provide an ongoing airlift service to 400 small villages where roads have been damaged by the effects of both storms and earthquakes.
General Alfonso Duarte Mújica told the newspaper Milenio that accessing the communities on land is hard under normal conditions, and that the airlift is their only link to the outside world after the accumulated effects of several natural disasters.
Every time an Army helicopter lands in one of the towns, he said, it carries bottled water, medications and food supplies, as well as cots, blankets and sleeping mats.
Over the last 20 days, helicopters and other aircraft have made 1,600 flights.
Duarte told Milenio that almost one month after the earthquake struck the Isthmus region, its 41 municipalities remain in a state of emergency and that a 5,645-strong deployment of soldiers is participating in the removal of debris, distributing food supplies to earthquake victims and operating 18 community kitchens.
Two battalions of military police force are also performing security operations designed to prevent pillaging and theft in the disaster areas.
Source: Milenio (sp)