A 24-hour flood alert was issued in Hidalgo on Sunday evening for municipalities in the Tula region that have already experienced severe flooding this month.
The National Water Commission (Conagua) warned that the Tula River, dams and other bodies of water could overflow again Monday due to the persistent heavy rain in the Valley of México, with risk particularly high at around 3:00 p.m.
Rivers first burst their banks and dams overflowed on September 6, leaving nine municipalities underwater. Seventeen hospital patients died due to an electricity failure and at least 70,000 people were affected by the floods.
Conagua said the risk had increased due to the high level of water in sewage tunnels which run toward Hidalgo from Mexico City and the state of México. “Due to the flow from the [sewage tunnels] TEC and the TEO, it is expected that from 3:00 p.m. the level of the Tula River will rise, until it reaches its critical capacity, and it may overflow,” the commission said.
Two temporary shelters have been set up in Tula in case of flooding.
Meanwhile, Zacatecas has requested that flooding in the state be declared an emergency by federal authorities, which would facilitate access to emergency funds. The San Aparicio dam overflowed after heavy rains on Thursday and Friday, affecting 1,270 people.
Water levels reached up to one and a half meters in some homes. Electricity and telephone services were suspended on Saturday evening.
Governor David Monreal sent a letter to Civil Protection chief Laura Velázquez Alzúa which declared that “the operational and financial capacity of the state has been overwhelmed” by the flooding.
The petition was accompanied by photographic and geotagged evidence to demonstrate the severity of the damage and the number of people affected.
Two temporary shelters have been serving affected residents.