Los Mochis, Sinaloa, is facing a massive clean-up after torrential rain brought on by tropical depression 19-E left much of the city under water.
Sinaloa Civil Protection chief Francisco Vega Meza said that preliminary reports indicate that 70,000 homes in the city were damaged and 230,000 people were affected in the municipality of Ahome, of which Los Mochis is the municipal seat.
“Seventy per cent of people in Los Mochis suffered because water got into their homes. In the area of El Carrizo, several towns were cut off and there are still some that are suffering from high water levels, such as Chihuahuita, the water hasn’t finished receding there yet,” he said.
Across Sinaloa, Civil Protection services estimate that as many as 300,000 homes were affected by flooding including many in the state capital Culiacán.
Flooding also caused damaged to 160 public schools, three highways, 14,000 hectares of agricultural fields and hydro-agricultural infrastructure.
State Agriculture Secretary Jesús Antonio Valdés Palazuelos said the extent of the damage to farm land is being assessed via air and land with a view to providing compensation to farmers through insurance policies held by the Sinaloa government.
The death toll in the state still stands at four while three people are missing.
The state government said that at least 3,504 people had to be evacuated from their homes in six municipalities, mostly in Los Mochis and rural areas of Sinaloa.
An air force helicopter yesterday delivered one and a half tonnes of provisions as well as clothing and air mattresses to affected indigenous communities in the municipality of El Fuerte and cut-off areas of Ahome.
Roberto Ramírez de la Parra, director of the National Water Commission (Conagua), said the priority is to attend to the basic needs of the affected population, adding that the full cost of the damage will be assessed later.
The risk posed by overflowing dams has been controlled, he said.
As much as 359 millimeters of rain fell in parts of Sinaloa in a 24-hour period starting Thursday morning and emergency situations were declared in 11 municipalities.
The heavy rains also caused flooding in parts of Sonora and Chihuahua, and at least three people drowned in flood waters in the latter state.