Monday, June 17, 2024

Heavy rain causes flooding in Puerto Vallarta

Heavy rain caused waterways in Puerto Vallarta to overflow on Thursday evening, flooding the streets of the resort city just two days after Hurricane Lidia made landfall on the Pacific coast.

Videos posted to social media showed vehicles submerged in muddy water in commercial and residential areas of Puerto Vallarta, the leading tourist destination in the state of Jalisco.

One showed a car floating down a street as the occupants attempted to climb out via the front windows. Another showed a man clinging to the side of his car as floodwaters gushed past him. Yet another showed passengers disembarking a bus and wading through water while holding onto a rope.

Despite the precarious situations some people found themselves in, no lives were lost in Thursday evening’s flooding, according to Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro.

“The intense rain that lashed Puerto Vallarta yesterday affected several cars and caused minor damage in some homes due to overflowing canals and flooding at various points. However, the damage is only material,” he wrote on the X social media site on Friday morning.

The governor said that a man died Thursday morning while “trying to remove water from the Cuale River,” which flows into the ocean in Puerto Vallarta, “but this had no relation to yesterday’s rain or the hurricane.”

Damage caused by Hurricane Lidia in Jalisco
Hurricane Lidia made landfall as a Category 4 storm on Tuesday and caused damage in coastal Jalisco. (Enrique Alfaro/X)

A storm started in Puerto Vallarta at 6 p.m. Thursday, according to a Reforma newspaper report. Rivers, canals and streams already swollen with rain brought by Lidia overflowed, flooding streets including Avenida Francisco Medina Ascencio, the main road that crosses the resort city. Reforma reported that water levels exceeded 80 centimeters on some streets.

The drainage system in the city was already at its “maximum capacity” as a result of the rain brought by Lidia, according to a report by the Infobae news website.

The newspaper Informador said that the flooding had eased by 10 p.m. and traffic was flowing along previously affected roads.

Hydrology expert Josué Sánchez Tapetillo said on X that Hurricane Lidia, which made landfall south of Puerto Vallarta as a Category 4 storm, “left a lot of water in its wake,” saturating the ground in the city.

That situation, together with a “severe storm” and water “basins with considerable breadth,” created the “perfect combination to produce these distressing scenes [in Puerto Vallarta]” he wrote.

With reports from Reforma, Infobae, Informador and Tribuna de la Bahía 

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