As I think Richard Grabman pointed out, the Pakistan floods, half a world away, have received a lot of press attention (though not a lot of help as far as I can tell) and Angelina Jolie. Here on the Gulf Coast of Mexico, our floods haven't been noticed in the US. Now Pakistan is supposed to be a country that has a fast-growing middle class, but it seems that it is not so well off as the US would like you to think. Here in Mexico, many people are better off though nowhere near where even many lower-income and unemployed people in the US, and the government is better able to respond as are citizens and groups of various sorts. But still, you might want to know what's going on here. We are your neighbor.
We've had rain as if God were showing us his power and his anger. Up where we live, we don't have floods, and so far landslides have been at a minimum, but they will come. I took the picture below as we awaited today's onslaught.
In coastal areas, the situation is extremely grave. As some of you know, Veracruz is a narrow ribbon that drapes along the Gulf of Mexico, a narrow ribbon split between mountains and lowlands. As I've mentioned before, Good ole General Santa Anna (of Alamo fame) was a Veracruz native before it was Veracruz and stories have it that he created the state by drawing the boundary to include the most beautiful landscape in his home turf. It is incredibly beautiful here.
The states suffering from flood damage at this point include, in addition to Veracruz, Tabasco especially and Hidalgo, Oaxaca, and Nayarit. Also, I think, there is damage in Tamaulipas to our north and Chiapas. IN the first five states, more than 135,000 hectares of crops have been destroyed of maise, coffee, watermelon, bananas and mango. I would add to this sugar cane. (One acre equals a bit less than half a hectare.)
As in many places, flood damage is intensified by lack of good infrastructure. While the government has certainly been aiding people harmed by the floods, it is acknowledged quite openly that the damage is increased by the decrepit system of controlling water. To repair it requires much more money than is available to the State of Veracruz.
At least one town in Veracruz has been evacuated with the support of various state departments and with the help of the army and navy, and others have been assisted by the same groups with supplies of potable water and alternate living spaces.
Below are a couple of pictures of Tlacotalpan which was completely flooded and which has been evacuated.
The present governor and the incoming governor have both said that more needs to be done, that systems need desperately to be upgraded. Our area expects that these heavy rains, not common even in recent years, will continue with global warming. The incoming governor seems very aware of the problems of global warming and the need for an integrated approach to climate change.