Through hard work and great efforts, services are being restored in isolated communities

from Government of Mexico
Published on 22 Oct 1999
Press Release 1821

Cuetzalan, Puebla, October 22, 1999.

President Zedillo supervised relief and reconstruction in Puebla for the tenth time since the rains

President Zedillo visited communities in the northern area of Puebla which were severely affected by the rains.

He supervised aid work in Cuetzalan, Zacapoaxtla, Xochitlán and Oriental.

In just a few days, the President saw that the situation has improved considerably.

The Government donated 219 mules and 81 horses to the state of Puebla to transport provisions to isolated regions.

Today, President Ernesto Zedillo visited communities in the Sierra Norte region of Puebla, one of the areas isolated by flooding, so as to verify the progress of aid and reconstruction work in the communities of Cuetzalan, Zacapoaxtla, Xochitlán and Oriental, among others.

The President supervised repair work on damaged highways and rural roads, the supply of drinking water and provisions and the operation of shelters.

During his tenth visit to communities affected by the rains, Dr. Zedillo remarked that, through hard work and great efforts, we are making continued progress towards the reestablishment of communications with isolated communities.

President Zedillo flew over the area of Cuetzalan, where the highway is still blocked in several places, and where local residents are deeply concerned by the situation; military personnel are working intensely to open the road to traffic.

The President also visited the Aid Reception and Distribution Centers run by the eight Auxiliary Councils; local inhabitants thanked him for the aid they have received, and requested that the road from Cuetzalan del Progreso to Mazatepec be paved. They also asked for support to transport patients receiving attention at Zongozotla clinic, which was damaged by the floods.

During this visit, President Zedillo was asked for aid for the communities of Zapotitlán de Méndez, Huehuextla and Xochitlán de Vicente Suárez.

Here, Dr. Zedillo commented that people are receiving basic provisions and "we are working hard to reestablish communications so as to get to the rural roads and reach isolated communities".

The Head of the Military Zone reported that, although a total of 3,600 food rations were initially distributed to the local population, a daily total of 600 rations are currently given out. Likewise, medical attention has been continued and there are no signs of epidemics or serious illnesses; one military Head, six officers and 48 troops are removing rubble and mud from the area.

President Ernesto Zedillo also visited the municipality of Zacapoaxtla, a spot he had previously been unable to reach since meteorological conditions prevented helicopters from landing.

Here, the collection center has attended to the needs of 15 sierra municipalities; people have had to walk for between four and twelve hours in order to obtain provisions.

Governor Melquiades Morales Flores urged residents whose homes were partially or totally damaged by the rains to go to the Attention Tables, where they would be included in the emergency housing program.

In Oriental, President Zedillo witnessed the donation of 219 mules and 81 horses from Military Livestock Breeding Center Number Two which, on behalf of the Government, were given to the state of Puebla by General Enrique Cervantes Aguirre to facilitate the transportation of provisions to the affected zones.

Thee animals were donated per instructions given by President Ernesto Zedillo last week.

The Governor of Puebla state, Melquiades Morales Flores, thanked the President for this support and pointed out that the mules and horses will be sent to isolated communities, above all, to the Sierra and Mixtec zones, in order to improve transportation conditions.

Finally, President Zedillo arrived in Xochitlán de Vicente Suárez. Here, people had been demanding that the provisions arriving in the municipality be handed over immediately. Nevertheless, President Ernesto Zedillo explained that these supplies must be shared with other isolated municipalities and communities.

This supervision tour was also attended by the Secretaries of Public Education, Miguel Limón Rojas; of Communications and Transportation, Carlos Ruiz Sacristán; and Social Development, Carlos Jarque Uribe; as well as by the General Director of Social Communication and the Spokesman of the Presidency of the Republic, Fernando Lerdo de Tejada; and the Head of the Presidential Security Corps, General Roberto Miranda Sánchez.