Mexico

Mexico: Tabasco Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 1

This situation report is based on information received from United Nations Resident Coordinator s in country and OCHA Regional Office in Panama.

HIGHLIGHTS

- The Governor of Tabasco has declared that there are 350,000 people trapped in their homes while estimating that flooding had affected half the state's 2.1 million residents.

- The Government of Mexico did not request international assistance.

Situation

1. Heavy rains began since Sunday 28 October with a cold front causing the Grijalva, La Sierra, Carrizal and Puxcatan rivers to burst their banks. The rains have also led to an increase of hydraulic basins storage of Angostura, Chicoasén, Nezahualcóyotl (Malpaso) y Peñitas dams located in the state of Chiapas. Some 700 millimeters of waters accumulated in the North and forest areas of the State of Tabasco. The water is received by the hydroelectric power station of Penitas who had reached 113% of its capacity. Penitas and Malpaso's dams are above their critical level of water storage.

2. The rains have critically affected the state of Tabasco in southeast Mexico while claiming the life of one person. Approximately 80% of the state is flooded.

3. Some 17 municipalities and 670 localities are flooded. Some 60,000 families are affected and 10,000 people were rescued; 69,000 people have been evacuated to 315 temporary shelters The Governor of Tabasco has declared that there are 350,000 people trapped in their homes while estimating that flooding had affected half the state's 2.1 million residents and inundated about 700,000 people's homes. According to media sources, some 8,000 people left Tabasco for neighboring Veracruz and Campeche. The capital, Villahermosa, is one of the most affected areas. At present 519 neighborhoods are flooded.

4. All crops had been destroyed, livestock had been killed and most of the state's business sectors had been affected. In addition, rains have caused landslides that damaged the road network. More than 100 medical centres have been affected, in addition to 300 schools. Electricity is cut for 90% of the residents of the city of Villahermosa.

5. Four people died in the State of Chiapas and 11,000 people were affected and 2500 are in shelters. Some 5,000 houses have been damaged. Some 300 kilometers of roads have been affected. The General Coordination of Civil Defense of the Secretary of Government issued an Emergency Declaration for 22 municipalities of the state of Chiapas on 1 November.

6. While the situation is stabilizing, main rivers remain at a critical level while some have registered a slight decrease of their flows.

NATIONAL RESPONSE

7. The Government of Mexico did not request international assistance.

8. In a radio and television address on 1 November, President Felipe Calderon called the Tabasco flooding one of the worst natural disasters Mexico had ever seen and appealed to the Mexican people to donate to the victims. More that 8, 000 persons from Marines, the Army and Civil Protection are mobilized in addition to more than 10,000 volunteers. Some 400 vehicles are mobilized to ensure transportation to safe areas or shelters. Soldiers and state authorities had placed more than 700,000 sand bags along the rivers to prevent flooding.

9. Health officials warned against outbreaks of tropical diseases, such as the mosquito-borne dengue, and water borne diseases. Some 424 doctors and health workers were deployed to more than 300 towns in the region to detect any outbreak of infections in 308 communities and carrying out already 1868 consultations. The leading reasons for medical consultations are for diarrhea in children, respiratory diseases, and mycosis by contact with stagnant water for the affected.

10. The Secretariat of Health is enforcing epidemiological surveillance actions and sent 30 brigades and three specialists in disasters, 8 vehicles and a master control unit. Additionally, disaster management and health care advisory services have been supplied. Psychological support, food monitoring, fumigation, and support for the control of dengue is also being provided. More than 20,000 doses of Hepatitis A vaccine have been sent. Medical supplies are guaranteed to serve all of the affected population. Water chlorination and health promotion are being carried out due to the risk of water contamination. CONAGUA is restoring water supply systems.

11. The General Coordination of Civil Defense of the Secretary of Government has issued an emergency declaration for 17 municipalities in Tabasco and 22 in Chiapas in order to activate resources from the Revolving Fund for Natural Disasters to assist the affected population.

12. A maritime bridge was installed between the Sates of Veracruz and Tabasco to transport relief items and support the victims. Food stocks are available for the next 30 days.

13. The Mexican Red Cross has distributed food, medicines, water, clothing, diapers and canned food.

PRIORITY NEEDS

14. Priority needs include basic relief items, food stocks, medicines, bottled water, clothes, diapers and canned food.

15. The UNETE was activated and the Resident Coordinator is consulting with the Government counterparts and has offered the support of the United Nations. OCHA Regional office in Panama is in contact with the Resident Coordinator's Office and is closely monitoring the situation in Mexico.

For detailed information please contact:

Contact Details

Desk Officer (New York)
Mr. Ignacio León
Office Tel: +1 917 367-9960
Office Fax: +1 212 963-36 30
E-mail: leoni@un.org

GCMS (Geneva)
Ms. Aoibheann O'Keeffe
Office Tel: +41 22 917 4329
E-mail: okeeffe@un.org

OCHA Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean
Mr. Douglas Reimer
Regional Disaster Response Adviser
Office Tel. +507 317-1748
Office Fax +507 317-1744
Mobile: +507 6676-1689
E-mail: reimer@un.org

Press Contact:

(NY) Ms. Stephanie Bunker
Office Tel : + 1 917-367-5126
Office Fax: + 1 212-963-1312
Email: bunker@un.org

(GVA) Ms. Elizabeth Byrs
Office Tel + 41 22 917 26 53
Office Fax + 41 22 917 00 20
E-mail: byrs@un.org

Disclaimer

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.