Mexico – 40 Dead as Tropical Storm Earl Triggers Floods and Landslides

At least 40 people have died in Mexico after landslides and floods triggered by heavy rain dumped by Tropical Storm Earl between 04 and 06 August 2016.

Hurricane Earl made landfall in Belize on 04 August 2016, near Belize City. After hitting Belize, Earl moved towards West-Northwest, causing major damages in Mexico southern-eastern and central states and in Petén and Quiché departments in Guatemala.

The Tropical Storm Earl started in the Caribbean Sea and had been declared Category 1 Hurricane just before striking Belize on the night between Wednesday 03 and Thursday 04 August 2016. After its landfall, wind speeds started to reduce and the hurricane weakened to a Tropical Storm. Nevertheless, the effects on the ground have been ruinous both in Guatemala and Mexico.

Puebla and Veracruz States, Mexico

Heavy rain caused three major landslides in the towns of Huauchinango and Tlaola, in the mountains of Puebla State, causing 29 casualties, as mud buried their homes. Eleven other casualties have been reported in Coscomatepec de Bravo, Tequila and Huayacocotla in the state of Veracruz.

Landslides and flooding caused major damages to at least 200 houses, according to local Civil Defence authorities in Puebla. Several roads have been inundated, with many interruptions and two bridges collapsed, causing significant issues to local transportation.

Rosario Robles from La Secretaría de Desarrollo Agrario, Territorial y Urbano (SEDATU) visted affected areas in Puebla, to monitor areas affected by Tropical Storm Earl.

Secretary Rosario Robles said that President Enrique Peña Nieto has instructed authorities to work together to protect all those affected by the storm.

“All branches of the Government of the Republic – Communications and Transport, SEDESOL, SEDATU, led by the Secretariat and delegation of the Interior, CONAGUA – all are working hand in hand with the state government to quickly resolve this situation.”

The National Coordination of Civil Protection of the Interior Ministry issued an Emergency Declaration on 07 August for the municipalities of Huauchinango, Tlaola and Xicotepec in Puebla state as a result of the severe rain. The declaration, requested by the state government, releases finance from the Fund for Emergency Response (FONDEN) can be accessed and authorities will have resources to meet the nutritional needs, shelter and health of the affected population.

Photo: Secretaría de Desarrollo Agrario, Territorial y Urbano
Photo: Secretaría de Desarrollo Agrario, Territorial y Urbano
Photo: Secretaría de Desarrollo Agrario, Territorial y Urbano
Photo: Secretaría de Desarrollo Agrario, Territorial y Urbano
Photo: Secretaría de Desarrollo Agrario, Territorial y Urbano
Photo: Secretaría de Desarrollo Agrario, Territorial y Urbano
Photo: Secretaría de Desarrollo Agrario, Territorial y Urbano
Photo: Secretaría de Desarrollo Agrario, Territorial y Urbano
Photo: Secretaría de Desarrollo Agrario, Territorial y Urbano
Photo: Secretaría de Desarrollo Agrario, Territorial y Urbano

Rainfall

As much as 193.8 mm of rain in 24 hours was recorded between 04 and 05 August at Yamonho Station, in Chiapas State. The day after, as the storm proceeded further north, 198.2 mm of rain fell in 24 hours at the Martinez de la Torre weather station in Veracruz State.

Cumulated rain from 02 August to 06 August in Mexico. Image:
Cumulated rain from 02 August to 06 August in Mexico. Image: CONAGUA

Tropical Storm Javier

There could be more severe weather on the way for parts of Mexico.

According to the United States National Hurricane Center (NHC), the Tropical Storm called Javier is approaching Baja California in the western coast of Mexico and can strengthen to hurricane status by Monday 08 August. Javier’s winds reach 85-90 km/h, with higher gusts expected. NHC forecasts about 100-150 mm of rain to be dumped by Javier on western Mexico.

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Flood Summary

Last updated: August 10, 2016
Event
Hurricane Earl, August 2016
Date
August 4 to August 7, 2016
Type
Flash flood, Landslide, River flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall
Hurricane Earl made landfall in Belize on 04 August 2016, near Belize City. After hitting Belize, Earl moved towards West-Northwest, causing major damages in Mexico southern-eastern and central states and in Petén and Quiché departments in Guatemala.

Locations

A - Huauchinango, Puebla (Mexico)
B - Tlaola, Puebla (Mexico)
C - Coscomatepec de Bravo, Veracruz (Mexico)
D - Tequila, Veracruz (Mexico)
E - Ixcán, Quiché (Guatemala)
F - Melchor de Mencos, Petén (Guatemala)
G - Belize City (Belize)

Magnitude

Rainfall level
193.8 mm in 24 hours
Yamonho, Chiapas, Mexico - August 4 to August 5, 2016
Rainfall level
198.2 mm in 24 hours
Martinez de la Torre, Veracruz, Mexico - August 5 to August 6, 2016

Damages

Fatalities
29 people
Puebla State, Mexico - August 5 to August 6, 2016
Fatalities
11 people
Veracruz State, Mexico - August 5 to August 6, 2016
Evacuated
170 people
Belize - August 4 to August 10, 2016
According to report by NEMO in Belize 08 August.
Evacuated
700 people
Guatemala - August 4 to August 9, 2016
700 people have evacuated their homes, with 413 of them accommodated in temporary shelters (228 in Petén and 185 in Quiché).