Mexico – Thousands Affected by Floods After Heavy Rain From Tropical Storm Gamma

Disaster authorities in Mexico reported on 04 October that 6 people have died after severe weather associated with Tropical Storm Gamma hit the Yucatan Peninsula.

Evacuations in Centro Municipality, Tabasco, Mexico, October 2020. Photo: Tabasco Civil Defence

Two flood-related fatalities were reported in Tabasco state. A further 4 fatalities were reported in the state of Chiapas, where 2 victims died after a landslide buried a house.

Heavy rainfall and releases from the Peñitas Dam caused flooding in Tabasco, affecting thousands of people in particular in areas along the Samaría River. Around 3,500 people were evacuated, mostly in the municipalities of Balancán, Centro, Cunduacán, Jalpa de Méndez and Nacajuca.

After making landfall on 03 October near Tulum in the state of Quintana Roo with sustained winds of around 110 km/h, Gamma then stalled offshore. Mexico’s disaster agency – Centro Nacional de Prevención de Desastres – said the storm combined with two cold fronts to cause extremely heavy rainfall in areas of the south east.

According to figures from Mexico’s meteorological agency – Servicio Meteorológico Nacional (SMN) – some parts of Chiapas and Tabasco saw over 200mm of rain in 24 hour periods from 01 October.

Rainfall 02 to 03 October 2020 in Mexico. Image: CONAGUA

Honduras and El Salvador

Heavy rain has also been reported in other Central American countries.

In Honduras, a red alert for heavy rain was issued on 04 October for the whole of the country. Floods and landslides struck in areas of the capital Tegucigalpa on 03 October 2020, damaging homes and vehicles and leaving one person missing. Areas of Danli in El Paraíso department were flooded on 04 October.

Meanwhile in El Salvador, around 100 people (21 families) were evacuated from their homes in Nueva Concepción, Tecoluca municipality in San Vicente department on 03 October, due to flooding. Houses were flooded in Santiago de María in Usulután department and roads inundated in the city of San Miguel. Further heavy rain is expected.

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