One week after Hurricane Patricia’s cyclonic winds devastated large swaths of the southern Jalisco, seasonal weather patterns again combined to disrupt the lives of local residents.
Heavy and persistent rains in the early hours of Friday, October 30 caused flooding in several towns, most notably Ciuhuatlan and Melaque. Other towns affected included Autlan, Mascota, San Sebastian del Oeste, La Huerta and Tomatlan.
Streets in Ciuhuatlan were transformed into raging torrents after El Pedregal arroyo broke its banks. Locals dealt with a similar situation in Melaque when the Marabasco River overflowed and flooded the resort town.
Hundreds of families fled their homes as the water levels rose to over a meter, seeking refuge in municipal shelters, which only a week previously had provided protection from Patricia’s ferocious winds.
State authorities said around 10,000 homes were affected by the flooding.
Clean up labors began Sunday after the water had subsided, while teams from several social welfare organizations began delivering essential supplies to homeowners whose properties were damaged in the flooding. The items included food parcels, as well as bed frames, mattresses, refrigerators, sofas and tables.
Two of the three roads leading into Cihuatlan were unpassable due to the flooding. Traffic was also blocked on a section of Highway 80 between Autlan and the coast, as well Highway 200 between Manzanillo and Cihuatlan.
Teams from Jalisco’s Civil Protection Unit used a helicopter to evacuate several families that were cut off by the flooding.
Meanwhile, in the wake of Hurricane Patricia, Mexico’s Interior Ministry (Gobernacion) has declared 47 Jalisco municipalities “natural disaster areas,” thereby releasing federal emergency funding.