Friday, June 14, 2024

Heavy rain causes flooding in Baja California

Emergency service workers had a busy day in Baja California on Monday as heavy rain caused flooding in Tijuana and other parts of the northern border state.

South of Tijuana in the municipality of Playas de Rosarito, 10 people were rescued after their vehicles became submerged in water when a canal overflowed and flooded two main roads, said local Civil Protection chief Arturo García Ames.

In Tijuana, firefighters rescued a woman on Monday morning when her vehicle was swept away by floodwaters on the city’s southside.

The news website Zeta reported that people were rescued in various parts of the northern border city, where many roads were affected by flooding. Two people, one an elderly man, were rescued by firefighters when they got into trouble attempting to cross swollen streams in Tijuana.

By midday, emergency workers in the northern border city had responded to over 200 reports, Zeta said. In addition to flooding, there were reports of landslides and damaged electricity infrastructure in Tijuana.

Miguel Ceballos Ramírez, the city’s Civil Protection chief, said that students and staff were evacuated from two private schools due to flooding. The schools, Colegio Bilingüe Rey and Colegio Alamar, are located in the Alamar district of Tijuana.

Social media users shared videos of their experiences with the flooding. At left, a car is swept down the street by flood waters. At right, a trailer makes its way through the flooded Otay customs area near the U.S. border
Social media users shared videos of their experiences with the flooding. At left, a car is swept down the street by flood waters. At right, a trailer makes its way through the flooded Otay customs area near the U.S. border, according to social media reports. (Screenshot/X)

The Baja California government subsequently cancelled Monday afternoon and Tuesday classes across the state.

Some houses in Tijuana were also inundated with water, including properties in the Riberas del Bosque neighborhood. A video posted to the X social media platform by NR Noticias showed residents wading through deep water filled with trash.

Municipal authorities set up two shelters for Tijuana residents who were forced to evacuate their homes. Mayor Montserrat Caballero said on Facebook that authorities were clearing “residue that obstructs the passage of water” and “working and monitoring the streets of the city.”

In another post, she assured Tijuana residents that the city’s emergency services were “active.”

Tijuana residents posted photos and videos of the flooding to social media. One showed a man using a container to remove water from a partially submerged car. Another showed a taxi being swept away by fast-moving floodwaters.

The Reforma newspaper reported that the flooding mainly affected the municipalities of Tijuana, Playas de Rosarito and Mexicali, although Ensenada and Tecate also received a significant amount of rain on Monday.

Ceballos said that 1.5 inches (almost 4 centimeters) of rain fell in Tijuana between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m.

The National Meteorological Service forecast “intense rains” of 75-150 millimeters for parts of Baja California on Monday.

While flooding was the primary concern, the heavy rain also caused power outages in parts of Baja California, including Tijuana and Playas de Rosarito. Over 35,000 customers were affected, according to the Federal Electricity Commission.

With reports from Reforma, Zeta Tijuana, SDP Noticias and El Sol de Tijuana  

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