Friday, May 24, 2024

Wednesday rainfall most intense in 20 years: Mexico City mayor

Wednesday’s heavy rains in Mexico City were the most intense recorded in the past 20 years, Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said Wednesday night, observing that there were only six occasions during that period when more than 100 millimeters of rain fell in a single day.

Streets and shopping malls were flooded, and downed trees blocked traffic as wind gusts of up to 59 kilometers per hour buffeted the city. Some parts of the city also saw hail.

Sheinbaum said it was striking that on two consecutive days, the weather stations recorded more than 100 mm per day on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

The storms were generated by an area of low pressure and tropical waves generated in the Gulf of Mexico, she said, a phenomenon that happens every 150 years. 

A purple, intense rain alert was declared in the municipalities of Coyoacán, Benito Juárez and Álvaro Obregón as the city’s government implemented “Operation Storm” in order to help with flooding, downed trees and car accidents, dispatching 96 officers with 21 vehicles and two tow trucks to attend to stranded cars. 

Various streets were flooded, and the Xoco hospital sustained a sewage leak inside the building’s emergency room and intensive care unit as well as its parking lot. 

At the Zapata Metro station, the steps were turned into a waterfall as water cascaded down. The station also reported water leaking in through the ventilation system on Lines 3 and 12.

Social media users shared photos and videos of widespread flooding, and some streets saw up to 35 mm of standing water. 

Civil Protection recommended that residents clear storm drains in order to keep them free of debris. 

A Walmart parking lot in Benito Juárez turned into a lake and customers climbed into shopping carts in order to reach their vehicles. Inside the store, aisles turned into rivers as water flooded in.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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