Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

In Mexico, storms dredge up human errors
by Staff Writers
Mexico City (AFP) Sept 24, 2013

Five bodies pulled from massive Mexico mudslide
Mexico City (AFP) Sept 23, 2013 - Rescuers have pulled five bodies from a massive mudslide that buried part of a village in southwestern Mexico, where 68 people were reported missing, the interior minister said Monday.

Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong did not indicate whether the bodies belonged to any of the people who were declared missing in La Pintada following deadly storms that battered Mexico last week.

President Enrique Pena Nieto said over the weekend that there was little hope of finding anybody alive in the village, which was swamped by a mudslide as people celebrated independence day on September 16.

Osorio Chong told Radio Formula that authorities found Monday eight bodies in a mudslide "very similar to La Pintada" in the town of Acatepec in the mountains of Guerrero state. He said two other people were found drowned in a river.

Authorities said late Sunday at least 110 people have died nationwide since last week's double impact from tropical storms Ingrid and Manuel.

The death toll does not include the 68 missing from La Pintada and Osorio Chong did not give an updated body count.

Abel Barrera, director of the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center of the Mountain, told AFP that local authorities have confirmed an additional 42 deaths linked to landslides and drownings in the region.

Human nature is sharing the blame with Mother Nature in Mexico for the destruction spawned by twin storms, with critics pointing to shoddy construction, endemic corruption and political wheeling-and-dealing.

The country was thrashed last week by a rare tag team of tropical storms on opposite coasts, Manuel and Ingrid, that killed at least 123 people, damaged 72 roads and affected 1.5 million homes to various degrees.

A further 63 people are still missing, authorities said in the latest tally late Monday. The interior minister has estimated the final death toll could reach 200, with some 1.5 million homes affected.

While some experts say there was little Mexico could do against the first double storm assault since 1958, critics argue that the disaster was exacerbated by bad urban planning, poorly designed roads and widespread illegal logging.

"It's not surprising. We develop in unbuildable areas, we build with garbage and we design without planning," Jesus Silva-Herzog Marquez, a law professor at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico, wrote in Reforma newspaper.

"Some do business, and others die," he wrote.

The southwestern state of Guerrero suffered most from wrath of the storms.

Rescuers have been working for days to dig out a village in the mountains northwest of the resort of Acapulco buried in a monstruous landslide that crumbled roads and broke a bridge in half.

Authorities on a tour through the region Monday discovered a second "very similar" landslide nearby that left eight dead.

Abel Barrera, director of the Tlachinollan Human Rights Center of the Mountain, said two to three construction companies get all the lucrative contracts from municipalities in the impoverished region.

"These projects are of bad quality. There is no supervision mechanism to check if they are meeting standards required for mountains," Barrera told AFP.

"The projects are controled by political groups. The builders give money to politicians and so nobody complains or is held accountable," he said.

In Acapulco, some neighborhoods were built over mangroves, preventing water from draining into the ocean and flooding much of the city.

Many residents fled to the rooftops of inundated homes while crocodiles surfaced in urban areas.

The highway linking the port to Mexico City was blocked by landslides and the airport was flooded, stranding tens of thousands of tourists for almost a week until the road reopened last Friday.

Guerrero Governor Angel Aguirre said last week that investments and unregulated housing developments were often the product of "political deals" and "acts of corruption."

Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong acknowledged that the disaster can partly be attributed to "irregular settlements in places where no settlements should have been authorized."

Luis de la Calle, founder of the public affairs consultancy CMM and a former economy ministry official, said Mexican towns have awarded building permits near waterways for years but corruption is not always the problem.

"In some cases, it's poverty and in others, it's corruption. Many times it's due to the institutional absence of the government," he told AFP. "There are municipal governments that don't have the capacity to enforce the law."

Enrique Santoyo, director general of the TGC engineering firm, said corruption was a problem but that roads were not prepared for such rare storms and that the geology of the earthquake-prone region made them vulnerable.

But he also blamed "weak supervision" of projects.

Prior to the storms, President Enrique Pena Nieto unveiled a massive investment plan to modernize Mexico's infrastructure, but his project now faces $3 billion in road repairs amid an economic slowdown.

The government's response to the storms has also come under criticism.

Barrera said indigenous populations have been neglected. He said at least 42 people have died but the "magnitude of the tragedy" is difficult to know because some mountain communities are isolated.

Osorio Chong insists that the federal government is concerned for all communities but that many are difficult to reach by air or land. A police helicopter flying rescue missions crashed last Friday, killing its five crew members.

Aguirre, meanwhile, was under fire over a picture showing him hosting a party with a mariachi band as Manuel approached the coast. On Monday, he appeared in news photos being interviewed with chest-high water in a flooded town.


Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Vietnam estimates to lose 1 and half percent of GDP due to disasters
Hanoi (XNA) Sep 22, 2013
Vietnam is estimated to lose around 1.5 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually due to property damage caused by natural disasters, according to the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). MARD's Minister Cao Duc Phat made the statement at the seminar on Vietnam-Japan cooperation in natural disaster prevention and control held here on Friday, local Dan Tri ... read more

Australians should be told of boat turn-backs, ex-navy chief

Obama: Navy Yard shooting must inspire gun law change

In Mexico, storms dredge up human errors

Fukushima town protests Abe's global promise on crippled plant: reports

Environmentally friendly cement is stronger than ordinary cement

X-ray science taps bug biology to design better materials and reduce pollution

Catalysts team up with textiles

Raytheon, Falck Schmidt unveil remotely operated long-range surveillance system

Malaysian natives protest as dam begins to fill

Antibacterial products fuel resistant bacteria in streams and rivers

U of M researchers discover early-warning system to prevent fishery collapse

Online citizen scientists: Classify plankton images

Russia mulls piracy charge against Greenpeace protesters

Trail of melting Swiss glacier shows climate change in action

Research: Australian Aboriginals showed adaptability in last ice age

Unprecedented rate and scale of ocean acidification found in the Arctic

Brazil rancher's conviction upheld in US nun's death

Vaccinating cattle against E. coli O157 could cut human cases of infection by 85 percent

Sensors allow for efficient irrigation, give growers more control over plant growth

Different forage affects beef cattle weight, taste

More than 100 killed in Mexico landslides, flooding: official

Mexico looks to rebuild from deadly, costly twin storms

Flight chaos as typhoon lashes southern China, killing three

25 dead as typhoon hits China, flight chaos in Hong Kong

160 UN peacekeepers desert Mali posts: military

Three Ivorian police killed in attacks

Uganda suspends 24 officers over Somalia corruption

Mali ministers met by hail of stones in Tuareg stronghold

Findings in Middle East suggest early human routes into Europe

Paleorivers across Sahara may have supported ancient human migration routes

Orangutans plan their future route and communicate it to others

New evidence that orangutans and gorillas can match images based on biological categories

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement