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State of emergency declared for six municipalities

Chetumal, Q.R. — A state of emergency has been declared by federal officials for six municipalities in the state of Quintana Roo after two tropical waves passed over the region.

The National Coordination of Civil Protection has issued an emergency declaration for six municipalities of Quintana Roo that will see emergency financial resources used to help restore the affected areas.

During the five days of rain, more than 12 roadways were flooded and 700 people evacuated from their homes. While larger cities such as Cancun and Playa del Carmen were affected, a majority of the damaged occurred in the south.

Civil Protection reports that the municipalities most affected by the flooding were Chetumal, Bacalar, Puerto Morelos, Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Lázaro Cárdenas and Tulum.

They say that in Felipe Carrillo Puerto, the most affected community was Chumpón where more than 400 houses flooded and residents were left without electricity.

They report even the Xpunhá lagoon overflowed from the excessive rains that arrived from the two back-to-back tropical waves.

The Mexican army relocated people to various emergency shelters, some of whom were moved by rafts. A make-shift community kitchen was set up where army personnel were able to truck in supplies to help those evacuated from their homes.

Adrián Martínez, director of Civil Protection in Quintana Roo, says that they are in the process of delivering more equipment to the affected areas, explaining that two motorized pumps are on their way to the municipality of Lázaro Cárdenas where, he explained, waters rose more than one meter.

Along the Felipe Carrillo Puerto-Tulum federal highway, three flooded stretches still exist after the area was doused with approximately 225 mm of rain.

“All the municipalities have been affected. A lot of attention is being given to roadways. There are many water crossings over the roads that require a lot of care by motorists who have to travel,” said Martínez.

In Cancun, security protocols were activated in hotels with 12 avenues being affected.

“We have firefighters and public services throughout the city. Right now, Civil Protection are in the process of damage verification,” said Luís Lomelí director of Civil Protection in Cancun.

Brigades of the Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Response say they have already pumped more than 30 million liters of water in Kantunilkín, Holbox, Bacalar and Cobá, caused by heavy rains last weekend.

In Lázaro Cárdenas, six colonies were flooded. On Holbox and Chiquilá, there was housing damage. In Chetumal, Tulum, Isla Mujeres and Puerto Morelos, the water is receding on its own.

Classes are still suspended in four communities, however, all ports were reopened to navigation around the state. Adrián Martínez says that the state government  continues to attend to the most critical points affected by floods.