Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Over 40 stranded horses rescued from Nuevo León dam

On Tuesday, Nuevo León Civil Protection officials rescued at least 40 stranded horses on an islet in the Cerro Prieto dam, according to Governor Samuel García.

Heavy rains brought last week by Tropical Storm Alberto had trapped the horses on the dam’s islet, reportedly for five days, after water levels rapidly rose around them.

A officer sits in a Civil Protection rescue boat on the water and touches the head of a brown horse lying in the boat after being rescued.
A Nuevo León Civil Protection officer tends to a horse rescued from the Cerro Prieto Dam in the municipality of Linares. (Nuevo León Civil Protection)

The Cerro Prieto dam, located in the city of Linares, is Nuevo León’s second largest reservoir. 

On social media, García said he had received an alert from residents in Linares regarding the trapped horses, after which he coordinated their rescue with the state’s Civil Protection department.

“After reading your comments about the horses trapped in the Cerro Prieto dam, I immediately contacted @PC_NuevoLeon for their rescue. [The horses] have already been rescued and taken to a safe place,” García wrote on X

García also shared photographs and videos showing some of the rescue maneuvers carried out. 

Linares residents had already tried to save the stranded horses. According to media reports, four horses drowned.

Before Alberto’s arrival — which made landfall in Tamaulipas early Thursday morning and quickly downgraded to a tropical depression — the drought-stricken Cerro Prieto dam’s water levels had been reduced to only 4% of its capacity. As a result, islets began emerging in the dam, which apparently attracted the wild horses to roam new areas in the dam. 

Emergency personnel in waist-deep water coaxing two stranded horses in a dam toward them. One officer already is guiding a horse through the water with a rope.
Some horses had to be coaxed into walking through the waist-deep waters toward rescue personnel so that they could be guided to safety. (Nuevo León Civil Protection)

Alberto, however, brought heavy, rapid rains to parts of Nuevo León in just hours. Post-Alberto, the dam is now at 58% capacity with 175.38 million cubic meters of stored water.

Throughout the week, García has been updating the water capacity levels of the state’s largest dams, including the Cerro Prieto. According to the latest report on Wednesday by National Water Commission (Conagua), the water levels of Nuevo León’s three largest reservoirs are as follows:

  • Cerro Prieto at 62.60% capacity
  • El Cuchillo at 85.92%, and 
  • La Boca at 100.90%

The heavy rains also caused rivers and streams in Nuevo León to overflow, including the Santa Catarina river, which dramatically gushed down the streets of Monterrey.

With reports from El Financiero and Nmás


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