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FEATURE

Mexico's Katrina





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Over two thirds of the Mexican state of Tabasco is under water, following inundation by tropical storms, and more rain is on the way:



President Calderon has sent the Mexican army into the region and food and water is being distributed to the over one million displaced by the floods and now living in shelters or walking through the flooded streets as they leave the region.

Some 80% of the state is under water in the worst flooding for 50 years. Heavy rain is forecast for the weekend and there are concerns that disease could spread in the murky waters. -snip- Helicopters and boats are being used to move people stranded on rooftops or pockets of high land, and hospital patients are being flown to neighbouring states. Link.
Mexico's entire air force has been sent into the region and the president is urging citizens with boats to help out, as well.

President Calderon said it was "not just the worst natural catastrophe in the state's history but, I would venture to say, one of the worst in the country's recent history". He went on to compare it to Hurricane Katrina, pointing out that New Orleans was small compared to the entire state of Tabasco. Not entirely accurate, when one takes into account the damage to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, but the comparison may be understandable, given the scope of the disaster.

Mexico's oil industry has also been impacted by the storms, with its offshore production all but shut down following the storms that have crippled its production:
Twenty-one people died last week when storms forced an oil platform into another rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

No word on how the loss of its available crude will impact world-wide prices, but with oil already over $95 a barrel, it's bound to influence the already volatile market and, perhaps, help to push it past the impending $100 a barrel mark.

Of more concern is the probability of disease as the flood waters rise, both in Tabasco and in neighboring state, Chiapas, also hit by floods.

The Mexican Red Cross is calling for donations here.

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