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Last Updated: Monday, 5 November 2007, 11:12 GMT
Your stories: Mexico flood crisis
This image was sent by Huitzil Pedrero from Villahermosa.

Massive floods in southern Mexico have destroyed or damaged the homes of as many as half a million people.

The military has helped to evacuate thousands of people in the states of Tabasco and Chiapas.

BBC News website readers in the Mexico flood area have been giving their accounts of the disaster:

LOST EVERYTHING

The situation is now very difficult, we don't have water to drink, and half of the population is homeless, the goverment doesn't send enough help.

Four days ago, the neighbours and I helped to put bags of sand to stop the water near to the river, but it didn't work, everything is underwater.

It's a tragedy, most of my friends and family lost everything, they spent 20 years working, and they lost everything in 20 minutes.
Ana Silvia Jiménez, Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico

NEW DANGERS

Now that the water is returning to its normal level, new problems are arising.

There are people who already want to return to their homes, even though it is not completly safe to do so, given the tropical weather, and the fact that the water also comes from the sewers and is getting stagnant.

The risk of diseases from water like cholera, dysentery, and those transmitted by mosquitoes, like malaria and dengue fever, is latent.

Thousands are looking for shelter in schools, churches and privately owned houses and busineses, such as party halls or meeting centres. Some of these people have been relocated more than once, for the water at the worst point reached the first shelters.

In the main square, Plaza de Armas, as in other points of the city, people are building plastic structures or "toldos" to protect themselves from the weather.

Although it has happened only in isolated locations, looting and ravaging are a risk, specially now that people will be walking around, unable to return to their homes.

Aid is being sent from all over the country and the world community, yet there are problems in the logistics to get that aid to the victims, especially in the smaller comunities.
Hutzil Pedrero Hernandez, Villahermosa

ISOLATED AND HUNGRY

I live in Teapa, Tabasco. We have spent the last week isolated from Villahermosa.

People who live on the road between Villahermosa and Teapa are suffering from hunger, because they cannot get any food supplies. We need water, please help us.
Gaby, Teapa, Tabasco

DEATH TOLL FEARS

My wife's family live in Villahermosa. Cell phone and land line communications are sporadic. Anecdotal evidence from the family would suggest that there are many more deaths than the one so far officially reported. Looting - of businesses for necessities, and private houses for anything else - is apparently widespread.
Michael Wilson, Mexico City

TAKING IN THE HOMELESS

Coatzacoalcos is about 130km from Villahermosa. The city is now a major aid centre for the refugees fleeing Tabasco. Local authorities say just yesterday they expected at least 5,000 people - maybe up to 20,000 during the week. A lot of the families in Coatzacoalcos have strong bounds with people from Tabasco, commerce, familiar bounds, etc. I've lived through earthquakes, hurricanes and other catastrophes but this is by far the most shocking experience of them all.

Me and my family have been helping out with what we can, raising money to buy anything the local shelters need, or directly helping out with the organization of them. Local aid is totally overwhelming. The entire economy of Coatzacoalcos is now driven to the relief of our thousands of guests. Friends, family have been left with nothing but the clothes they came with. Nevertheless the solidarity shown by the citizens of Coatzacoalcos gives us all hope...
Guillermo Chavez Garcia, Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz

CHIPPING IN

I live in Mexico City but I want everybody in Tabasco reading this board that we are really working hard to help people in there. Everywhere you go in Mexico City you can see a store, cafeteria, public office, etc., gathering food and supplies from neighbours and then sending them to Tabasco. I just bought some supplies and left them at the local DIF (a government agency in care of children) where five buses were packed with food and stuff and ready to leave.
veronica, Mexico City

ROAD BECOMES DAM

As the water supply has now been shut down we had to leave. At noontime today I left with the family of my girlfriend to Coatzalcoalcoz - normally a 2-hour drive that today took 6 hours...

Traffic out of town went very slow but there was no panic. People behaved themselves nicely despite the situation. Still in Villahermosa people were in lines to get gas, water and food and most gas stations if not all are dry. Just outside the city water blocked the road causing the traffic jam. After that traffic went more or less normal.

Outside of Villahermosa you see houses and farmland under water all along the road. Cattle go to higher land and were picked up in trucks. People moved out of their houses and lived virtually on the road that worked as a dam keeping the citizens dry for now. Ironically traffic was stopped again due to a pay road. People are urged to give whatever they can to help yet citizens should still pay and wait to get away from the area. It was opened for free pass later though.

Now we are in Coatzalcoalcoz at a hotel waiting to go to relatives in the morning. We don't know when we will return and latest I heard rumours of vandalism in Villahermosa...
Allan Hansen, Villahermosa, Mexico

WE LOST EVERYTHING

I have no words to describe the horrible situation we are facing in Tabasco. Last night me and my family had to flee from the city because our neighbourhood was about to be covered by water. The city was a complete chaos, people was in panic. It was crazy. I just can say that I have never seen something like this before. We lost everything my only hope now is God. I want to say to all the people who are still there that they should flee from the city. Because it is getting worse every day. Save your lives!
Gisela Alberto, Villahermosa, Tabasco

HELP FROM THE CAPITAL

I'm far away from Villa Hermosa, Tabasco and I just want you to know that here in Mexico City we are helping as much as we can, the two main TV networks are collecting water, clothes, food etc. They've been working since 6 am (GMT -6) and they're still working. We feel sorry for them and we wish we could help more. You too can help by asking for food or blankets, which will be necessary because of the low temperatures, and then send them off to Tabasco! We will appreciate all the efforts you make.
Raymundo Nava, Mexico City, DF, MX

OUT OF OUR HANDS

Well, what can I say? This is devastating. Yesterday I had to leave my house as the water rose 1.5m in less than 12 hrs. People are shocked, scared. Uncertainty is the key word for everybody. At the moment it is raining, and I can't really describe my feelings, to know it may cause the level of the water to rise more... This is out of our hands.
Alejandra, Villahermosa, Mexico

NATIONAL APPEAL

...Today a national campaign to raise funds for Tabasco state has started. An international campaign (like for the Tsunami, New Orleans, earthquakes etc) would be of great help... The damage caused cannot be calculated just yet...
Carlos, Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico

PLEASE HELP US

The situation that we are living through is chaotic, there is no electricity, streets are blocked, people are stuck in their houses. We ask for any kind of help - clothes, blankets, food, water. The rivers are overflowing and most of the population is in extreme conditions. Please help us! 80% of families have lost their assets.
Mariana Vazquez Lopez, Villahermosa, Tabasco

CROCODILE RUMOURS

I have been living here in Tabasco for the last 4 years I have never seen anything like this. Our house was in one of the first areas to flood and so we moved out leaving everything behind. We joined the people frantically filling sandbags to protect the city centre.

As the light was failing you could hear the shouts of the stranded people from across the river. In that area the water had reached the second floor of the houses and the people were on the roofs screaming to be rescued. Today the sandbags along the river broke and the water has now entered the city centre. The electricity has been cut and the whole city centre is in darkness.

There have been reports that the crocodiles that live in the lagoons around the city have travelled with the water into some residential areas and have taken dogs. People are frantic, families are split up everyone is searching for someone.

Villahermosa is a city united in disaster.
Mark Pius Charlton, Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico

SCRABBLE FOR SANDBAGS

Per newscast television: The mayor of Villahermosa city ordered everyone to evacuate the city. This is drastic. The army built up levees with sandbags. Alas! Some people took bags from there back to their homes and the water started flooding in from the places with missing bags.

The trend has been more rain all the way inland, to "Altiplano" (the high-altitude plateau), increasing the rainfall unusually here.

I predict it will be normal as long as the hurricanes are increasing. More inland rain to this semi-arid zone, previously a forest until it was wiped out by grazing, mining needs, urbanization, and loss of diversity.

It seems that people need to go back to building on stilts all along the Gulf Coast.
Marcela Andre Lopez, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

WATCHING THE RIVER

This situation is not new to us, but it is the worst flooding we've ever had. I've never seen something like this before. Local channel is broadcasting live all day and night long, and it's terrible to see how many people are suffering. Tens of thousands.

I live in a town about 40 mins away from Villahermosa (the state capital). Many people in here lost their home, their things but it isn't as bad as in Villahermosa though. And I'm thankful for that.

Although we're in danger, there's a river behind this town that's about to break and if this happens it will affect us even more. Tabasco is being helped, thanks to all the nice and kind people. But of course, it isn't enough...
Yivania, Cardenas, Tabasco, Mexico.

SWAMPED ON DAY OF THE DEAD

The worst is still to happen since one of the main dams is nearly to burst and contingencies will be overtaken by the force of water. This is the worst scenario of course, we have run out of shelters for the seven hundred thousand people that are homeless now. We are in need of food, cloth, medicine, purified water and yes boats to rescue those that are still on roofs waiting to be rescued.

Today [1 November] we are celebrating the Day of the Dead and hopefully we won't have as many casualties since the government is making the necessary efforts to put everybody in safe places.
Judith Castaneda Mayo, Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico

HELL WITHOUT THE PANIC

I arrived in Villahermosa from Campeche yesterday around 6pm, and it was raining lightly. I have barely no Spanish so didn't work out what was going on at first. After I left the bus station and headed into town I did notice that it was pretty quiet and everything seemed to be closed. The corner shop selling buckets and life jackets along with the usual stuff seemed odd.

There were also a fair number of people filling sandbags, and every TV I passed seemed to be showing a press conference with Pres. Calderon. Nevertheless, I made it to my hotel without incident. However, it did begin to dawn on me that things weren't quite right.

I remembered seeing the river looked awfully full when we passed over it on the way into town, and what might have been a park that was full of water. The queues at the supermarket (one of the few shops open - the only other one I noticed was selling menswear) were another sign. And there were more sandbags, and workmen frantically bricking up the bottom 3 feet of doors.

So I returned to the bus station, bought my ticket out for the next morning, patronised a hotdog stand that was literally the only food seller open, and returned to the hotel. Around 10 the power went out, leaving me to find my way to the bathroom with a lighter the desk clerk gave me. It never came back on, although the streetlights stayed lit.

This morning I packed up by natural light and headed out to find that the river had come to just across the street from the hotel. The way to the bus station was clear and the bus left only 20 minutes late. It took a while to get out of town what with the huge traffic jams and flooded streets, and I had a good view of the submerged houses, the river way over its banks, people stuck on roofs, the boats navigating the streets, tops of cars and one man a raft of empty water cooler bottles carefully transporting a cage full of budgies. I got off lightly - it looked like hell, although without any sense of panic.
John Fairweather, London, UK

TRAFFIC AT A CRAWL

Traffic flows very slowly out of town. Food should be sufficient for now as the larger supermarkets has local storages. As for my own situation I'm on dry land and many others as well. We don't need to flee the city at this point as the water supply is stable.
Allan Hansen, Villahermosa, Mexico

THE BRIDGE COMES DOWN

Jalapa is a town of Tabasco and it has been affected by the floodwater. The bridge that helps us to communicate to Villahermosa has broken and we are not able to leave at the moment. The governor says it will be repaired soon but we can't buy things of food and others...
Angeles Hernandez, Jalapa, Tabasco, Mexico


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SEE ALSO
Race to save Mexico flood victims
02 Nov 07 |  Americas
Mexico probes fatal oil rig crash
26 Oct 07 |  Americas
Country profile: Mexico
20 Jun 07 |  Country profiles

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