Mexico – Deadly Floods in Chiapas and Guerrero, Hurricane Newton Approaches West Coast

Several days of heavy rain has caused flooding in Guerrero and Chiapas states in Mexico damaging around 2,000 houses. Local media report that at least 3 people have died in the floods in Chiapas state.

Meanwhile a Hurricane Newton, a category 1 hurricane, is currently approaching Baja California, Jalisco and Michoacán on the western coast of Mexico, which could bring rainfall of over 250 mm to some areas.

Cumulated rainfall from 03 to 04 September, 2016. Image: CONAGUA
Cumulated rainfall from 03 to 04 September, 2016. Image: CONAGUA

Guerrero State

Heavy and prolonged rain affected parts of the city of Acapulco, Guerrero State, and the surrounding region starting from the 03 September 2016. The rainstorm resulted in flooding and several landslides, affecting houses and communication routes. Dozens of minor landslides have also been reported. A road in central Acapulco collapsed, injuring 3 people.

Heavy rain was observed at several stations in Guerrero State. Between 03 and 04 September 2016, 264 mm of rain in 24 hours was recorded at Observatorio de Acapulco Station, 224.6 mm at Acapulco and 224 mm at Revolución Mexicana.

According to local Civil Defence authorities, 1,215 houses have been damaged by flooding: 776 in Benito Juárez, 391 in Acapulco, 20 in Atoyac de Álvarez and 12 in Coyuca de Benítez.

The Campestre La Laguna neighbourhood, south east of Acapulco, suffered some of the worst of the flooding. Flood waters there reached 60 cm of height, forcing residents to evacuate their homes. Over 200 people had to be rescued by state police and the Army after they were trapped by floodwaters. This neighbourhood, built in areas previously mangroves bordering a lagoon, is said to be particularly prone to floods.

Floods in Guerrero state, Mexico, September 2016. Photo: Protección Civil Guerrero
Floods in Guerrero state, Mexico, September 2016. Army and state police have assisted the affected population in Hacienda de Cabañas and other areas. Photo: Office of the Governor of Guerrero
Floods in Guerrero state, Mexico, September 2016. Photo: Protección Civil Guerrero
Floods in Guerrero state, Mexico, September 2016. Army and state police have assisted the affected population in Hacienda de Cabañas and other areas. Photo: Office of the Governor of Guerrero

Chiapas State

In Chiapas state, officials said that torrential rain and flooding affected the capital city of Tuxtla Gutiérre. Around 3,500 people have been affected, with almost 900 houses were damaged and 6 completely destroyed.

Local media say that the flooding caused the death of 3 people, with 2 more still missing and 5 injured.

The heavy rain began to fall on 02 September. Some local media reports claim that 115mm of rain fell in three hours during the peak of the storm.

State Governor, Manuel Velasco, visited the affected areas on 03 September. Civil protection in Chiapas are carrying out damage assessments and working on clean up operations.

Civil protection in Chiapas
Flood damage in Tuxtla Gutiérrez. Photo: Civil protection in Chiapas
Civil protection in Chiapas
State Governor, Manuel Velasco, visiting affected areas. Photo: Civil protection in Chiapas
Civil protection in Chiapas
Clean up operations. Road ravaged by floods in Tuxtla Gutiérrez. Photo: Civil protection in Chiapas

Newton Hurricane Approaching from Pacific Ocean

According to the United States National Hurricane Center (NHC) and the National Meteorological Service of Mexico (Servicio Nacional de Meteorologia, SNM), the Category 1 Hurricane called Newton is currently approaching Baja California, Jalisco and Michoacán in the western coast of Mexico. Newton’s winds reach 120 km/h, with gusts up to 150 km/h. SMN forecasts about 150-250 mm of rain to be dumped by Hurricane Newton on western Mexico.

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Flood Summary

Last updated: September 21, 2016
Event
Chiapas and Guerrero, Mexico, Early September 2016
Date
September 3 to September 6, 2016
Type
Inland flood, River flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall

Locations

A - Acapulco
B - Tuxtla Gutiérre

Magnitude

Rainfall level
262 mm in 24 hours
Observatorio de Acapulco Station - September 3 to September 4, 2016

Damages

Fatalities
3 people
Chiapas - September 3 to September 4, 2016