Death toll rises to 20 with almost 3 thousand houses affected by the passage of Eta and Cold Front 11

By Isaín Mandujano

At least 20 people died in the last several hours in Chiapas, after intense rains that caused rivers to burst their banks, houses smashed in landslides, traffic accidents and roads collapsed by mudslides in 32 municipalities and 7 regions of Chiapas. 

The Preliminary Register of Damages in the face of Emergencies and Disaster (REPDAED) reported that due to the rise in the levels of rivers and the overflows, landslides and mudflows, 32 municipalities in 12 regions have been affected, which are: Ocozocuoautla, La Concordia, Chilón, Tumbalá, Chamula, Mitontic, Pantelho, Oxchuc, Tila, Yajalón, Salto de Agua, Sunuapa, Pichucalco, Amatán, e Ixhuatán. 

Equally, Ixtapangajoya, Mezcalapa, Ocotepec, Tecpatán, Ocosingo, La Grandeza, Amatenango de la Frontera, San Andrés Duraznal, Jitotol, Bochil, El Bosque, Siltepec, Larráinzar, Juárez, El Bosque, Rincón Chamula San Pedro, Arriaga y Huixtla.

2,845 homes have been affected, 26 sections of road interrupted by landslides of unstable slopes, two pedestrian bridges damaged, 5 rivers overflowed, three communities have lost communication due to flooding, one section of electrical line was affected, and 5 sections of potable water pipe.

One of the municipalities with the greatest impact on homes is Chilón, in the Tulijá Region, where more than 684 homes are flooded at this time. The affected communities are El Mango, Sacum San Miguel, Sacum San Pedro, and Sacum Guadalupe. Due to the overflowing of the Agua Azul river, families have been evacuated. 

The Northern Region La Región Norte is registering damages to the road infrastructure from instability of the mountain side in the sections of road Ixtapangajoya-La Unión (Teapa, Tabasco). The communities of Chapayal, Zaragoza and Zapata of the municipality of Ixhuatán remain out of communication due to flooding.

Four people have been reported dead in the community of Altagracia, municipality of El Bosque, one adult, and three minors. Additionally, in the community of Toquian de la Grandeza, two people are reported injured and 4 dead. Mr. Bulmaro Velásquez Velázquez said that due to heavy rains a section of land above his house broke free, burying it and breaking the walls of the room where his four youngest children, now dead, slept. His children were 14-year-old, Aile Celina Velásquez Cruz, 4 year-old Javier Velázquez Cruz, 8-year-old Margarita Concepción Velázquez Cruz, and 10-year old Alexa Xucoa Pérez.

Also, 10 dead bodies were found in the river the crosses the community of Kaomtealhucum II, located in the municipality of Chenalhó; the people who died were originally from the community of Muquém, in the municipality of Chamula. The first reports indicate that they were swept away by the strong currents in the stream that passes through the community; the same happened with a minor in Mitontic. 

In Oxchuc one person was confirmed dead having been swept by the current of the stream, besides the death of a minor in the hamlet of Mitontic. 

In total, 20 people have died so far, and more people have yet to be found who disappeared in the various events brought about by these intense rains.

Regarding the activation of temporary shelters in Juarez, one is located in the Ejido Santa Cruz Tepate Abajo with 10 families, and one  in the Rancheria Nicolas Bravo 1a. Meanwhile, in Ocosingo one was installed in the local cattle ranch with a total of 22 families. And in Ixhuatán, 25 people from the Ejido Chapayal are given lodging. In San Cristóbal de Las Casas, 30 people are being cared for.

For this purpose, the State Emergency Committee is in permanent session, activating the protocols of attention to the population through federal, state and municipal agencies.

This article was originally published in Spanish in Chiapas Paralelo on November 6th, 2020. https://www.chiapasparalelo.com/noticias/chiapas/2020/11/lluvias-intensas-dejan-20-muertos-y-mas-de-2-mil-casas-afectadas/ This English interpretation has been republished by Schools for Chiapas.