At least seven people have died due to flooding caused by torrential rain in the states of Sinaloa and Chihuahua, authorities reported.
Sinaloa Civil Protection chief Juan Francisco Vega Meza said that at least four people had died in that state following heavy rains brought on by tropical depression 19-E.
Three deaths occurred in the state capital Culiacán, where three people are missing.
Another person died in the municipality of Ahome, where as much as 359 millimeters of rain have fallen over the past 24 hours.
Streets of the municipal seat of Los Mochis were inundated and access to parts of the neighboring municipality of El Fuerte have been cut off.
“It has been a complex situation because we were presented with an atypical phenomenon; we hadn’t received a quantity of rain like this before. In just one day, [the rain that fell in] Los Mochis represented 40% of the rain it has received in the whole year and in Culiacán, it was 30%,” Sinaloa Governor Quirino Ordaz said in a television interview.
Three deaths occurred in two municipalities in Chihuahua.
“A man and a woman drowned after being dragged by the current of a stream, located 500 meters from the Plata Real mine on the San José del Sitio ejido [community land] in the municipality of Satevó,” the state Attorney General’s office said.
The victims were identified as Tomás Castro Vargas, 51, and Carolina Blancas Luviano, 45, both residents of Tlapehuala in the state of Guerrero. Their bodies were recovered by a rescue team made up of mine employees.
In Namiquipa, authorities recovered the body of a man who tried to cross a swollen stream in his vehicle. The 45-year-old man, identified only as Wilbert E., was a resident of the neighboring municipality of Matachí.
In Ciudad Juárez, a woman and her eight-year-old daughter had to be rescued after they ran into trouble trying to cross a flooded overpass while dozens of families in the municipality of Chínipas were forced to evacuate their homes due to flooding.
At least 13 municipalities in Sonora, including Guaymas, Hermosillo and Huatambampo, have also been affected by heavy rains.
Federal Civil Protection director Ricardo de la Cruz Musalem said this morning that 11 Sinaloa municipalities remain in a state of emergency while the number of people affected by the heavy rains and flooding is estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands.
The army, navy, municipal, state and federal police forces, firefighters, the Red Cross and Civil Protection services are all contributing to rescue and evacuation efforts.
Shelters have been set up in several areas to receive those forced to leave their homes and many educational facilities in the affected states have suspended classes. The Red Cross is sending 30 tonnes of humanitarian aid to Sinaloa today.
Sinkholes have appeared on many roads and a bridge on Federal Highway 15 between Los Mochis and El Carrizo has been damaged. The same highway was also closed in both directions yesterday at San Miguel Zapotitlán after a drainage system collapsed.
The National Meteorological Service (SMN) is forecasting more heavy rains for both Sinaloa and Chihuahua today and intermittent heavy showers in Sonora.
Así las cosas en Culiacán, Sinaloa, en estos momentos, parece que en el Norte del estado están peor según reportan. pic.twitter.com/LguTxE42co
— Manuel Clouthier C. (@ClouthierManuel) September 20, 2018
Flooding yesterday in Culiacán.
— Annie (@AnnaUrquidez) September 20, 2018