Winter weather contributed to the deaths of two people yesterday as cold front No. 14 continues to deliver cold temperatures across much of the country. And meteorologists warn that winter conditions will continue: cold front No. 15 is on its way.
An 80-year-old woman in Genaro Codina, Zacatecas, and a 28-year-old man in Saltillo, Coahuila, both died of hypothermia.
In the former state, temperatures plunged to a record low of -14.5 C in the municipalities of Pánuco and Gilla Hidalgo. Conditions have prompted the state government to request that federal authorities declare a state of emergency in 31 of the state’s 58 municipalities.
Farmers have been hit hard by crop damage. The Secretariat of Agriculture said 220 hectares of guava, 150 hectares of lettuce and 100 hectares of broccoli have been lost.
In neighboring Aguascalientes, sleet damaged 75% of the guava production in Calvillo, considered the second largest producer in the country. Other affected crops were tomato, tomatillo, zucchini, cucumber and nopal, with an estimated 6% of the crops lost.
In Hidalgo, 800 hectares of corn and beans were destroyed.
Homeowners have not been spared. An estimated 200 homes were without running water in the Zacatecas municipalities of Zacatecas, Guadalupe, Vetagrande and Morelos after pipes froze up and burst.
In Arteaga, Coahuila, where temperatures dropped to -14, the weather left many travelers stranded due to roads that were impassable. Local authorities opened a shelter for them.
Highway 57 was closed to traffic last Thursday and wasn’t reopened until Saturday, leaving an estimated 2,500 trucks stranded. An association representing truck companies estimated the cost of the highway’s closure to be in the millions of pesos.
The effects of the cold front have been felt as far south as Oaxaca, were several municipalities reported the fall of sleet and hail and temperatures as low as -1.3.
Cold front No. 15 is expected to arrive today, warned the National Meteorological Service, delivering more winter weather in northern, northeastern, eastern and central regions.
The weather office said this morning that temperatures could drop below -5 in mountainous areas of Chihuahua, Durango, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosí, Hidalgo, Puebla, Tlaxcala and México state.
In Coahuila, Aguascalientes, Jalisco, Michoacán, Guanajuato, Querétaro, Veracruz and Oaxaca, temperatures could go as low as -5.
Northerly wind gusts in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, where high winds left semi-trailers overturned on the weekend, are expected to exceed 60 kilometres per hour.