As flooding continued over almost all the Mexican Gulf coast state of Tabasco, officials fear a disease epidemic.
Officials fear cholera and other waterbourne diseases may run rampant. Military trucks distributed food, clothing, and bottled water to victims as boats worked tirelessly to rescue those still stranded on rooftops. Around 900,000 people have had their homes damaged, flooded, or cut off by the floods, and an estimated 300,000 have yet to be rescued.
Officials are running out of places to put refugees. Increasingly parking lots or anything dry have been turned into temporary structures for the homeless. Hospitals have also been invaded by refugees seeking shelter, which has complicated treating the sick.
Floods are common in Tabasco, with some residents spending 6 months with water in their first floor, but this years floods are far beyond normal.
“The situation is extraordinarily grave: This is one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the country,” said Mexican President Felipe Calderon.
“Nobody can stand around with his arms crossed,” said Calderón. “We can’t and won’t abandon our brothers and sisters in Tabasco.”
A weeklong heavy rain caused rivers to overflow in the region. 70% of Tabasco is now underwater, with 80% of the capital at Villahermosa flooded. So far one death has been reported. Almost all services have been shut down.
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