Sunday, June 16, 2024

Authorities warn of more flooding in Tula, Hidalgo

Flooding in Hidalgo worsened on Wednesday, prompting authorities to order some residents of Tula and Ixmiquilpan to evacuate their homes.

Overflowing dams exacerbated flooding in the central Mexico state where nine municipalities were under water.

One of the dams that overflowed was the Danxhó Dam in Jilotepec, a México state municipality that borders Hidalgo.

Tula, where 14 COVID-19 patients died on Tuesday when an IMSS hospital flooded, was also affected by the opening of sluices at the Requena Dam.

Rivers broke their banks in Tula, Ixmiquilpan, Chilcuautla, Mixquiahuala de Juárez, Tepeji del Río, Tezontepec de Aldama, Tlahuelilpan and Tlaxcoapan, the newspaper Reforma reported.

A flooded street in Hidalgo.
A flooded street in Hidalgo.

Authorities in the first two municipalities ordered people who live near rivers or other bodies of water to evacuate due to the worsening flooding.

Hidalgo Governor Omar Fayad also ordered the evacuation of the center of Tula and other locations in the Mezquital Valley.

Soldiers and National Guard troops were deployed to assist evacuations in both residential and commercial areas.  Three military helicopters and four boats assisted the efforts.

At least 1,000 people left their homes in Ixmiquilpan and took refuge in shelters, while hundreds of Tlahuelilpan residents also evacuated. The Salado River overflowed in the latter municipality, which was declared a disaster zone. At least 5,000 people in Tezontepec were at risk because they live near the same river, and 3,000 homes had been affected in Tula.

At least 30,000 homes had been affected by floodwaters as of Thursday morning, according to the federal Civil Protection agency.

Governor Fayad said 11 schools, three hospitals and numerous bridges had also sustained damage.

The governor warned on Wednesday that the flooding could continue to worsen as rain continued to fall in neighboring México state and Mexico City. Floodwaters as high as two meters were possible within the vicinity of the Tula River, he said.

Fayad also said that the entire region of Hidalgo that is currently affected by floods will be declared a disaster zone, which will trigger government funding to aid clean-up and repair efforts.

With reports from Milenio, El Universal and Reforma 

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