VERACRUZ, Mexico – Heavy rains brought by Tropical Depression Matthew have resulted in nine deaths and 45,000 people being evacuated in Mexico, authorities said.
To the six deaths registered last weekend in northern and southern Mexico, authorities have now added three more reported in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz.
The three latest fatalities involved three people who were swept away and drowned by the current from an overflowing river.
The state of Veracruz declared an alert due to the overflowing of six rivers as a result of the rains, the breaching of two dams and flooding in adjacent zones.
Gov. Fidel Herrera announced the evacuation of 40,000 people to prevent death and injury after 14 people died and 500,000 were affected during the passage of Hurricane Karl 10 days ago.
So far, the flooding caused by Matthew has affected only small rural towns in any major way, but authorities expect that it will soon cause problems in urban areas with greater populations.
On Monday afternoon, the rains in the oil port of Coatzacoalcos brought 400 mm. (15.74 inches) of precipitation in six hours, leaving 2 meters (6.5 feet) of standing water in some low-lying neighborhoods.
In the municipality of Catemaco, the waters of large Lake Catemaco were reported to have poured over the lakeside dike and flooded extensive commercial areas.
The intense rains have cut in six spots the highways leading to the south and southeastern portions of the country, and authorities said they had sent 1,500 Health Ministry personnel to the region to try and control potential disease outbreaks. EFE