Overturned truck after strong winds in the isthmus region of Oaxaca. Overturned truck after strong winds in the isthmus region of Oaxaca.

Front closes schools, delights snow lovers

Heavy rains cause flooding, high winds flip trucks and snow brings smiles

An intense cold front and humid ocean air conditions have combined to deliver more cold temperatures across Mexico, along with heavy rains and high winds.

But cold front No. 25  started on a positive note, particularly for snow lovers.

On Saturday night it began snowing on the slopes of the Nevado de Toluca volcano, Mexico’s fourth-highest mountain at 4,680 meters.

By Sunday morning news of the snow had spread and an estimated 7,000 visitors turned up to enjoy the wintry conditions.

By noon, authorities decided the crowds were too big and began restricting access to the national park.

Temperatures throughout the country started dropping over the weekend, reaching their lowest so far last night. Authorities in five Mexico City boroughs — Álvaro Obregón, Cuajimalpa, Magdalena Contreras, Milpa Alta and Tlalpan — decided yesterday to suspend classes in local schools.

A forecast for temperatures as low as -4 C triggered a red alert by Civil Protection in those five boroughs.

Heavy rain and strong northerly winds have struck southern Mexico, especially in the states of Veracruz, Tabasco, Chiapas and Oaxaca.

Low temperatures and heavy rainfall in the Zongolica sierra of Veracruz forced education authorities in the region to modify school schedules. Farther south, overflowing rivers have affected at least 20 communities in the Las Choapas municipality.

The rain also caused a mudslide along the Xalapa-Misantla road, taking away part of one of the lanes.

In Tabasco rains caused two rivers to overflow and even more rain is expected.

The military has activated its DN-III disaster relief plan in order to offer aid to victims.

Civil Protection opened shelters in the municipalities of Cárdenas, Comalcalco, Cunduacán, Paraíso, Tacotalpa and Teapa.

In the neighboring state of Oaxaca, slides have been reported on the highway between the cities of Oaxaca and Tuxtepec.

In the Isthmus of Tehuantepec region strong northerly winds overturned three cargo trucks, bringing the total of wind-related accidents to eight so far this month.

The same phenomenon caused four trucks to overturn in Chiapas on the Arriaga-Pijijiapan and Arriaga-Tehuantepec highways.

The National Meteorological Service is forecasting cool temperatures in 28 states and a combination of cold and heavy rain in Michoacán, Guerrero, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Campeche, Quintana Roo, Tabasco and Chiapas.

Source: Reforma (sp), Milenio (sp)

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