Villahermosa – At least 5,000 people have been affected by torrential rains and flooding in the southeastern Mexican state of Tabasco, emergency management officials said Tuesday.
A total of 111 communities have been affected in the Gulf state by the heavy rains, which caused rivers to overflow their banks, the Tabasco state emergency management office said in a statement.
The cities of Balancan, Centro, Emiliano Zapata, Macuspana and Jalapa have reported the heaviest damage, emergency management office spokesman Roberto Lopez said.
There is flooding in the southern section of Villahermosa, the capital of Tabasco, from the Mezcalapa River, the city's mayor, Jesus Ali, said.
"We have damage and are dealing with it," the mayor told Efe.
Officials in Villahermosa fear a repeat of the situation in 2007, when flooding caused extensive damage and affected nearly 1 million people, Ali said.
Five of the nine rivers that cross the Tabasco plain have overflowed their banks on some stretches, including the Grijalva, La Sierra and Usumacinta rivers, the National Water Commission, or Conagua, said.
The number of people affected by the rains could rise because officials in Emiliano Zapata, a city on the banks of the Usumacinta River, reported thousands of people affected by the rains, but the information has not yet been confirmed by the emergency management office.
More than 35,000 hectares (about 86,420 acres) of farmland and corn crops have been destroyed by the floodwaters, the state agriculture department said.
Tabasco Gov. Andres Granier has asked the federal government to complete a series of flood control projects to prevent future flooding in the state, where rivers regularly overflow their banks.