Cleanup time in Los Cabos. Cleanup time on beaches of Los Cabos.

Southern Baja begins post-Lidia cleanup

Los Cabos the hardest hit; 1,000 people lost their homes and belongings

Seven people died and more than 1,000 people lost their homes and all their belongings after tropical storm Lidia struck the Baja Peninsula last Thursday, delivering massive amounts of rain.

But the cleanup is now well under way.

Residents of the municipality of Los Cabos have begun cleaning up the debris strewn across towns and beaches after a storm that dumped over 400 millimeters of rain, more than twice the annual rainfall, in 24 hours.

Those who lost their homes were for the most part residents of neighborhoods with illegal dwellings, ramshackle structures made of scraps of wood, cardboard and sheet metal.

By day they attempt to salvage whatever is left; at night they return to the shelters where they will remain for the time being.

Beaches remain closed but throngs of volunteers have turned out to help municipal workers to clean them up. As of yesterday they had removed over 500 tonnes of debris.

The Federal Electricity Commission said more than 67,000 clients were left without power Thursday but service had been restored for 83% of them by last night.

Officials from the federal Secretariat of Agrarian Development and Urban Planning (Sedatu) have declared a state of emergency for all five municipalities in Baja California Sur.

The most severely affected was Los Cabos where more than 50 streets were left covered in sand. An assessment of housing and a census of affected families in Los Cabos is just beginning, Sedatu officials said.

Weather has taken a toll on other regions of the country, though not to the same extent.

In the Tierra Caliente region of Guerrero, over 80 homes were flooded while in Oaxaca an estimated 150,000 people were affected by mudslides and overflowing rivers, and at least 16 towns were cut off.

Source: Milenio (sp), El Universal (sp)

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