Mexico - Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 3

Ref: OCHA/GVA - 99/0200
Mexico - Floods
OCHA - Situation Report No. 3
2 November 1999

Half a million people affected by the floods


1. Following torrential rains that reportedly have caused the worst floods in 40 years in Mexico, the situation still remains serious.

2. According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), it is still difficult to get consolidated figures concerning people affected and the magnitude of the damage caused, since several communities are still underwater or isolated by the flood waters and mudslides.

3. Reports indicate that the worst affected states are Veracruz, Puebla, Tabasco, Oaxaca and Hidalgo, where some 530,000 people have been affected, of whom approximately 86,000 are in temporary shelters. Latest estimates indicate that at least 476 persons have lost their lives and some 160 persons are still missing.

4. In the Oaxaca state only, the compounded effect of the earthquake (magnitude of 7.4 on the Richter scale, which hit the region on 30 September 1999) and floods, has had a devastating impact, affecting more than 250,000 persons.

National response

5. Rescue/relief operations are still being carried out by the Mexican Civil Protection, the Armed Forces, the Mexican Red Cross, local authorities (community leaders are playing a key organizational role) and NGOs.

International response

6. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), reports that, in view of the extent of damage so far registered, the Mexican Red Cross is willing to receive assistance from National Societies and donors. A plan of action has been drawn up to the amount of CHF 1,200,000 (approx. USD 784,000), targeting 50,000 persons in the five most affected states.

7. The Government has not requested the United Nations to launch an appeal for international assistance.

8. This situation report and further information on ongoing emergencies are also available on the OCHA Internet Website at

Telephone number: +41-22-917 12 34
In case of emergency: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers: Mr. Erik Haegglund/Mr. Carlos Pereira,
OCHA Disaster Response Branch, direct Tel. +41-22-917-3299/1383

Press contact: Ms. E. Ponomareva, direct Tel. +41-22-917 23 36

Telex: 414242 OCHA CH
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit