It’s been a cold winter for much of Mexico with temperatures as low as -12 C in Hidalgo, snow in many areas and hardship for some.
And conditions are not expected to change much in the next few days as cold front No. 23, extending from a low-pressure system in Vancouver, Canada, reaches as far as the southern coast of Veracruz.
The weather was particularly hard on a family of migrants from Honduras who were traveling on Monday through Nogales, Sonora, where temperatures have been dropping to -3 or lower.
Jaime Hernández and Sandy Carranza and their two children, a toddler and a six-week-old baby, had stopped for tacos. Carranza was breastfeeding the infant when suddenly she noticed the baby was bleeding from his nose and mouth.
He was rushed to a Red Cross clinic shortly where he later died. Exposure was given as the cause of death.
The state of Hidalgo enjoys the distinction of having recorded the lowest temperatures so far this season, but that’s no comfort to seniors Agustín and Alicia, residents of Acayuca in the municipality of Zapotlán.
The weather is posing a threat to their livelihood.
Breadwinner Alicia works every day from 8:00am to 5:00pm washing clothes and earning 200 pesos a day. Her husband of 40 years has been in a wheelchair for two years after suffering a work-related accident in which he lost a leg.
But the cold and freezing water have severely hindered Alicia’s work, leaving her hands aching and her fingers unresponsive. This week she didn’t earn enough to take her husband to the Tuesday tianguis, or flea market. The weekly day out is his only diversion.
As far as Agustín can remember, it has never been so cold.
His memory serves him well, judging by a pronouncement on the weather by national Civil Protection director Ricardo de la Cruz Musalem. He said the cold front is one of the most severe ever recorded.
It has particularly affected the north and center of the country.
Temperatures dropped to as low as -6 last night in Saltillo, Coahuila, covering streets with a thin sheet of ice. When one driver lost control of his vehicle a major pileup of 43 vehicles followed, including cars, trucks, a police car and a bus.
Four people were injured, but none seriously. Damages were estimated in the multi millions of pesos.
Poor conditions were responsible for another accident in Monterrey, Nuevo León, involving 28 vehicles. Two people were injured.
Heavy fog closed the Saltillo-Monterrey freeway yesterday afternoon after a an accident involving three trucks left as many people injured. The highway was reopened this morning to traffic in both directions.
Today, the coldest place in the country was La Rosilla, in Guanaceví, Durango, where the mercury plunged to -11, the National Meteorological Service said.
Nineteen states were reporting temperatures below 0.
Other cold spots were El Vergel in Balleza, Chihuahua, with -8, and Tres Barrancas in Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila, where it was -7.
Cold and bitterly cold weather and heavy fog are forecast for the northeast, the west and the center of the country with the possibility of snow or sleet in mountainous areas of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, Puebla and Veracruz.
Higher regions in many parts of Mexico will see temperatures of -5 or less, the National Meteorological Service said today.