Mexico – Floods in Guerrero and Chiapas Leave 13 Dead

Heavy and prolonged rain affected Guerrero and Chiapas States in southern Mexico starting from Wednesday 14 September 2016, causing several flooding and landslides and the deaths of at least 13 people.

Heavy rain started on Wednesday 14 and lasted several days, resulting in saturated soils and high discharges in rivers.

Between 14 and 16 September 2016 as much as 239 mm of rain was recorded at Tapachula in Chiapas State. In Zihuatanejo, Guerrero State, 114 mm of rain was recorded over a 3 day period.

This is the second deadly flood event to hit the two states in the space of 3 weeks.

Accumulated rainfall in Mexico from 14 to 16 September, 2016
Accumulated rainfall in Mexico from 14 to 16 September, 2016. Image: Conagua

Guerrero State

In the municipality of Zitlala, in the interior of Guerrero State, the prolonged rain triggered a major landslide early on Saturday 17 September. The landslide destroyed an adobe house, killing 5 people living there.

Areas of the state had suffered flooding earlier this month when heavy and prolonged rain affected parts of the city of Acapulco and the surrounding region from the 03 September 2016. Over 1,000 houses were damaged and 3 people injured.

Chiapas State

Chiapas State suffered the most the effects of the prolonged rain, where several rivers overflowed as a result. According to local Civil Defence authorities, as many as 193 houses in 27 communities have been damaged by the flooding of the river Texcuyuapan and its tributaries in the Province of Soconusco, close to the border with Guatemala.

In Cacahoatán, close to the city of Tapachula, two people drowned in a swollen river. In La Margaritas municipality two men were killed by a mudslide.

In La Concordia, a municipality in the interior of the Pacific Coast in Chiapas state, four members of the same family died when they were swept away by a swollen river they were attempting to cross late on Friday 16 September.

Intense rain fell in the area during the evening of 16 September. El Triunfo station, around 90km south of La Concordia, recorded 23.5 mm of rain in just 30 minutes.

Three people died in Chiapas state earlier this month. Officials said that torrential rain and flooding on 02 September affected the capital city of Tuxtla Gutiérre.  Around 3,500 people were affected, with almost 900 houses were damaged and 6 completely destroyed.

Tropical Depression Paine Approaching from Pacific Ocean

According to the National Meteorological Service of Mexico (Servicio Nacional de Meteorologia, SNM), the Tropical Depression called Paine is currently approaching Baja California and Sonora in the western coast of Mexico. Paine’s winds reach 55 km/h, with gusts up to 75 km/h.

SMN forecasts about 75 mm of rain to be dumped by the tropical storm Paine on parts of western Mexico.

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Flood summary

Last updated: September 21, 2016
Event
Chiapas and Guerrero States, Mexico, Mid September 2016
Date
September 14 to September 18, 2016
Type
Inland flood, Landslide, River flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall, Long-term rainfall

Locations

A - Zitlala
B - Soconusco
C - Cacahoatán
D - La Concordia

Magnitude

Rainfall level
33.7 mm in 24 hours
Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas - September 15 to September 16, 2016
Rainfall level
45.3 mm in 24 hours
Tapachula, Chiapas - September 14 to September 15, 2016
River level
Overflowing
River Texcuyuapan, Soconusco - September 14 to September 19, 2016

Damages

Fatalities
5 people
Guerrero State - September 14 to September 18, 2016
Fatalities
13 people
Chiapas State - September 14 to September 18, 2016