Mexico acts on new storm landslide risk

Source(s): United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
Mexico is on alert for Tropical Storm Javier which is threatening its Pacific coast with torrential rain and heavy seas.
Mexico is on alert for Tropical Storm Javier which is threatening its Pacific coast with torrential rain and heavy seas.

GENEVA, 9 August, 2016 - Mexico which hosts the 2017 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction is battling the impact of tropical storms from both the Atlantic and the Pacific.

The Civil Protection Authorities have warned of the possibility of further landslides  as the country braces itself for the passage of Tropical Storm Javier on the Pacific coast while search efforts are continuing for survivors of weekend mudslides which claimed 40 lives inclusing those of 23 children.

Intense rain as a result of Tropical Storm Earl which originated in the Atlantic, triggered the deadly mudslides in the Mexican states of Puebla and Veracruz and warnings have been issued of further heavy rains and the possibility of landslides as Tropical Storm Javier reaches Baja California in the south of the country.

Mr. Luis Puente, National Civil Protection Coordinator , said yesterday: “We are alerting people at risk and doing our best to evacuate coastal communities to minimize the risks. We are now watching Javier and monitoring all the rivers of the country as they are already full and may inundate more land and cause more losses.”

There was an emergency meeting yesterday of members of the Directorate General of Civil Protection; the Ministries of National Defense, the Navy, and Communications and Transport; as well as the National Water Commission, the National Center for Disaster Prevention and the Federal Electricity Commission, to discuss emergency planning and the likely impact of Tropical Storm Javier when it made landfall.

A state of emergency has been declared in three municipalities in Puebla: Huachinango, Tlaola and Xicotepec, and two muncipalities in Chiapas, Palenque and Tecpatán, due to severe flooding. Relief funds have been made available from the National Fund for Emergencies.

State civil protection units of Jalisco, Colima, Sinaloa, Nayarit, Michoacan, Guerrero and Baja California Sur, are all on high alert and undertaking preventive actions in coordination with the municipal authorities to reduce the risk of loss of life, injury and damage to the tourist industry, Sea swells as high as 4.5 metres are expected in places.

The Civil Protection authorities have issued recommendations that people should take extreme precautions against possible landslides and avoid crossing rivers, streams and fords during and after the passage of Tropical Storm Javier. Special attention should also be paid to the dangers posed by buildings made of flimsy materials.

They have also requested that special attention be given to the sick and the elderly, children and indigent persons; stay tuned for indications of Civil Protection.

Mexico is a strong proponent of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the global plan for reducing disaster mortality and economic losses which will be the focus of the 2017 biennial Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction which will take place in Cancun, Mexico, from 22-26 May.

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