VILLAHERMOSA, Mexico – The torrential rains in the southeastern Mexican state of Tabasco have caused several rivers to overflow their banks and affected more than 90,000 people, officials said.
Six of the 10 rivers in Tabasco, which is home to 2.3 million people, have overflowed their banks, flooding nine cities.
The Usumacinta, Grijalva, La Sierra, Puxcatan, Tulija and San Pedro rivers all overflowed their banks, but the Usumacinta River did so by two meters (6.5 feet), the National Water Commission, or Conagua, said.
Tabasco received a month’s worth of rain during the first 15 days of October, Conagua spokesman Gilberto Segovia said.
“The situation is already an emergency because families have been affected,” by the rains and flooding, Tabasco emergency management chief Roberto Lopez told Efe.
The Usumacinta River, the largest river in southern Mexico, has damaged dwellings and farmland in the cities of Balancan, Emiliano Zapata, Jonuta and Tenosique.
The federal government has provided only enough assistance for 20,000 people, while the number of residents affected by the rains tops 90,000, Tabasco Gov. Andres Granier said.
Balancan, Emiliano Zapata and Jonuta, all located in rural areas, were cut off when floodwaters washed away roads.
Emergency aid is needed from the government to help residents, Jonuta Mayor Armando Correa said.
Residents have built walls out of sandbags in an effort to keep the river’s waters out of areas that have not yet been flooded.
There are reports out of Villahermosa, the capital of Tabasco, and other cities, such as Nacajuca, Jalpa de Mendez, Cunduacan, Centla, Jalapa and Macuspana, of flooding.
The Tabasco state government issued an alert, urging residents to take “extreme precautions” as the rains continue into Monday.
Tabasco state is crisscrossed by rivers whose water volume accounts for about a quarter of Mexico’s fresh water resources. EFE