Mexico – 5 Dead After Massive Floods Hit San Gabriel, Jalisco

At least 5 people have died and more are missing after raging floods swept a deluge of mud, logs and debris through the town of San Gabriel in Jalisco state, central-western Mexico, on 02 June, 2019.

Flood disaster struck in San Gabriel, Jalisco, Mexico on 02 June 2019. Photo: Government of Jalisco

The flooding has caused considerable damage to roads and around 1,000 homes. Local authorities report that at least 8 bridges have also been damaged. Electricity and drinking water supply have been cut.

Around 3,000 people are thought to have been affected with many of them forced to leave their homes. Accommodation and medical care is being provided.

State Civil Protection said they are continuing to search for those still missing as well as clearing flood debris. A team of over 600 emergency personnel, 115 vehicles, 2 helicopters and rescue dogs are working in the area.

There is still some speculation as to the exact cause of the disaster. No significant rainfall was recorded in the town during this period. However, it is thought that a storm and heavy rain in surrounding mountainous areas caused the Apango river to overflow, flooding the town.

Photos of flood debris show piles of burnt tree trunks and black mud. Local observers have suggested that recent wildfires had left mountainsides bare, leaving the rain of 02 June to flow unhindered into the local river system. According to Civil Protection and local reports, both the Salsipuedes and the Apango broke their banks. There is further speculation that the wildfires were part of illegal forest clearances by loggers or farmers.

This is the second major flood event to hit central Mexico in the last few days. Heavy rain on 30 May, 2019 caused flash flooding in the state of San Luis Potosí. Streets were turned to rivers in the city of Matehuala, sweeping away vehicles and causing severe material damage.

Flood disaster struck in San Gabriel, Jalisco, Mexico on 02 June 2019. Photo: Government of Jalisco
Flood disaster struck in San Gabriel, Jalisco, Mexico on 02 June 2019. Photo: Government of Jalisco
Flood disaster struck in San Gabriel, Jalisco, Mexico on 02 June 2019. Photo: Government of Jalisco
Flood disaster struck in San Gabriel, Jalisco, Mexico on 02 June 2019. Photo: Government of Jalisco

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