At least 5 people have been killed and around 1 000 homes damaged after massive floods hit the town of San Gabriel, Mexico's Jalisco state on June 2, 2019. Several people remain missing.
Local authorities said several rivers overflowed, including Apango (San Gabriel) and Salsipuedes, damaging at least 8 bridges and multiple roads. Around 1 000 homes were damaged, electricity and drinking water disrupted.
There is still some speculation as to the exact cause of the disaster as no significant rainfall was recorded in the town during this period, according to the FloodList. However, it is thought that a storm and heavy rain in surrounding mountainous areas caused the Apango river to overflow.
Another element in the disaster is illegal defforestation and wildfires which left mountainsides bare.
After flying over the area, Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro Ramírez said that illegal deforestation could have weakened the ground near the riverbed, allowing the river to flood.
"Surely, as people have said, this has to do with the illegal logging that has been going on for many years here in the mountains,” he said. “The ground got soft, and that explains what happened." Alfaro added that the logging started several years ago and that his government is taking action to end it.
This is the second major flood event to hit Mexico over the past couple of days.
On May 30, the state of San Luis Potosi experienced heavy rain, causing severe flash flooding and significant material damage.
Featured image: Flood aftermath in San Gabriel, Jalisco, Mexico - June 2, 2019. Credit: Grupo Reforma