Mexico Floods To Get Worse: State Governor

VILLAHERMOSA, Mexico (AFP) – Floods that have affected almost one million people in the south and east of Mexico will likely worsen after the opening of a dam and predictions of more rain, a state governor said Wednesday.

“Heavy rains are predicted, not only in Tabasco (state) but also in the whole south-southeastern region, including storms and hurricanes… which would put us in a more critical situation,” Tabasco governor Andres Granier told local journalists.

The opening of the region’s Penitas dam could release up to 2,000 cubic meters of water per second to the Carrizal and Samaria rivers, which were already at critical levels, Granier said.

“The worrying thing is that for people in Tabasco, the worst — our real rainy season — is starting now,” he added.

The states of Veracruz, Oaxaca and Tabasco were the worst hit in the floods that swept through entire towns and affected more than 900,000 people in some way, according to state civil protection officials.

The total toll from the heaviest rains in living memory in Guatemala and Mexico rose above 50 on Tuesday, including seven in Mexico.

Guatemalan officials on Tuesday called off the search for 15 more corpses over safety fears.

In Mexico, President Felipe Calderon said rainfall was more than three and a half times the average during a visit to Tabasco Tuesday, blaming the situation on climate change.

Some 200,000 hectares (500,000 acres) of land were submerged, affecting more than 20,000 farmers in the region, officials said.

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