Jumat, 26 September 2008

Mexico storms kill woman and 4 children, flood thousands of homes

VERACRUZ, Mexico _ Storms flooded hundreds of people out of their homes in southeastern Mexico and caused the death of a woman and four children whose car plunged into a swollen irrigation ditch.

More than two dozen rivers have overflowed in the coastal states of Veracruz and Tabasco, flooding thousands of homes, damaging bridges and cutting off some villages, according to Civil Protection officials.

Maria de Jesus Riandez was driving home with her three children and their 13-year-old friend when her car skidded and fell into the irrigation ditch in the Veracruz town of Nanchital, said district attorney Juan Castro. The three siblings were 1- to 9-years-old.

More than 1,100 people were in shelters in Veracruz, where the floods also forced state-owned oil company Petroleos Mexicanos to close five wells.

In Villahermosa, the capital of Tabasco, some neighborhoods were under three feet of water. Furniture and other personal belongings floated in the streets.

Civil Protection officials were trying to evacuate 3,000 people to shelters, but many were refusing to leave.

Flooding in Tabasco last year killed at least 33 people and inundated more than 1 million homes.

Two months ago, the federal government gave homes to 50 families in Villahermosa who lost their houses in last year's flooding. Their new homes were under water again Thursday.

"They promised us that we would not be flooded again here, that it was a safe zone. And we have lost everything again," Elodia Perez said.

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