Rains cause 13 natural disasters each year in Jalisco

Most natural disasters occur outside the metropolis but the economic and human losses are significant.

Rains cause 13 natural disasters each year in Jalisco
Photo by Graham Ruttan / Unsplash

On June 2, at around 5:30 p.m., it was reported that the Apango River, also known as Salsipuedes, overflowed. Thousands of liters of mud and branches covered the San Gabriel Center and affected a thousand homes. Because of this natural disaster, five people lost their lives and one more is still unaccounted for.

In the last 10 years, the federal government issued 134 declarations of natural disaster for Jalisco due to hydrometeorological phenomena such as rains, severe storms, tropical cyclones, and floods. This represents an average of 13 per year.

Of the total number of declarations, only 10 correspond to the metropolis. This is according to the National Center for Disaster Prevention (Cenapred) of the National Coordination of Civil Protection, which also has registered 248 declarations of emergency for the entity related to the same type of natural phenomena: 24 per year on average.

In eight years, natural disasters claimed 21 victims in the State

Due to the flooding of the Apango River, registered last month in the municipality of San Gabriel, five people lost their lives. The mud and branches reached the citizens and they drowned. In addition, one person was swept away by the current and is still reported missing.

They were the most recent victims of the natural disasters that have hit the Entity in eight years, where six meteors have killed 21 Jalisco residents.

According to a newspaper record and information from the National Center for Disaster Prevention (Cenapred), the first five deaths were recorded in October 2011 after Hurricane "Jova" hit the southern coast of Jalisco.

The phenomenon mainly affected the municipalities of La Huerta, Autlán de Navarro, Cuautitlán de García Barragán, Tomatlán, and Villa Purificación, and not only with a red balance on their shoulders, but also affected thousands of hectares of banana plantations and fractured the roads of the Costalegre.

In September 2013, storms "Ingrid" and "Manuel" (which later became a hurricane) took the lives of two people. A year later, in September 2014, the meteor "Odile" claimed two more lives in Puerto Vallarta. The victims walked along the beach and were swept away by the high waves produced by the storm.

In June 2015 Hurricane "Carlos" killed one person. The rains generated during its passage through the Entity softened a fence and it collapsed on a pedestrian.

Four months later, "Patricia" hit the coasts of the Entity with wind gusts of up to 300 kilometers per hour. That phenomenon left a toll of six dead: four in a road accident and two more who fell the branch of a tree while camping in the municipality of Tapalpa.

Repair costs

Remedy the devastation left by natural disasters that have hit Mexico in the last 10 years cost 547,467 billion pesos, according to Cenapred figures, which is equivalent to paying 18 times the Line 3 of the Light Rail (30,418 billion). The figure is so high that it even covers seven times the Santa Lucia airport project (79.3 billion).

The most catastrophic year for the country was 2010 when 138,948 billion pesos were spent after the passage of tropical cyclone "Alex", which hit hard the states of Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, and Tamaulipas, as well as tropical cyclones "Karl" and "Matthew", which affected the state of Veracruz.

Simultaneously, Tabasco, Chiapas, Guerrero, and Oaxaca faced the passage of hurricane "Frank". These events left more than half a million victims.

In addition to the affectation caused by these phenomena related to rains, in April of that year, an earthquake of 7.2 degrees was registered in Mexicali, Baja California, same that left four deaths and affectations in more than five thousand houses.

Declarations of the contingency

Fonden: Declarations of emergency or natural disaster are necessary for states to access resources from the National Fund for Natural Disasters (Fonden) to repair the damage, either economically or in kind.

Purpose: According to Cenapred, emergency declarations are aimed at the life and health of the population, while disaster declarations are aimed at providing resources for the reconstruction of damage suffered in housing and public infrastructure.

Resources: According to the Expenditure Law for Fiscal Year 2019, Jalisco earmarked 58 million 462 thousand pesos for the State Natural Disasters Fund, to face the ravages that any event of this type could bring.

What is an emergency declaration?

It is the recognition by the Ministry of the Interior (Segob) that there is a high probability of the occurrence of a natural phenomenon that causes an excessive risk to the security and integrity of the population.

What is the declaration of a natural disaster?

According to the National Center for Disaster Prevention (Cenapred), is the public recognition of the Segob that a natural phenomenon has occurred that has caused damage to both housing and public services and infrastructure.

The hail cleanup, in record time

On June 30, heavy rain and hail hit the metropolis. The effects reached 457 homes and 50 vehicles that were stranded, including five cargo.

In 36 hours, 950 elements of the three levels of government completed the cleaning of eight colonies in Guadalajara and Tlaquepaque, when that task could take up to 10 days, said the head of the State Unit of Civil Protection and Fire Jalisco (UEPCBJ), Victor Hugo Roldan.

This was the result of close coordination with the municipal units of Civil Protection and Fire since the beginning of the year.

The importance of this coordination is that the fire departments know-how and with whom to act in case of any contingency and even assist nearby municipalities.

An example of this was the day of the intense hailstorm when firefighters from Zapopan, Acatlán, and Tlajomulco came to the affected area, and even personnel from SIAPA and the National Water Commission (Conagua) joined in. "Coordination is vital for making decisions and giving results," he concluded.