Hundreds evacuated after flooding in Querétaro

According to local authorities, the flooding was caused by the discharge of a dam in Lomo de Toro
File photo by Demian Chávez/EL UNIVERSAL
27/09/2017
15:00
Alma Córdova
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Hundreds of residents of the riverside of river San Juan, Querétaro, have been evacuated from their homes due to the overflow of this watercourse.

According to the first reports of San Juan del Río authorities, the overflow was caused by the discharge of the Constitución 1857 dam, in Lomo de Toro.

At approximately 22:00 hours of last Tuesday, the current of the river began to rise, thus the inhabitants of Barrio de la Cruz, Arboledas, El Espárrago, the San Pedro residential development, Las Huertas, El Country, and las Alamedas reported the flooding to the authorities. In just a matter of minutes, the water level rose over a meter and the residents had to be evacuated.

According to local Civil Protection reports, they were notified the discharge of the dam would cause an increase of 23 cubic meters and a gradual increase overnight; however, in less than an hour, the volume rose to 150 cubic meters. As reported by the local authorities, the dam is managed by the National Water Commission (CONAGUA).

The Mayor of San Juan del Rïo, Guillermo Vega, added through social networks that there were other communities affected, such as Paso Ancho, Puente de Fierro and San Isidro.

“We've requested CONAGUA to close the flow or to decrease the discharge volume to reduce the risk to the population. Any situation can be reported to the 911,” he said.

Due to the severity of the situation, members of the Querétaro Police, the state's Civil Protection Coordination, Volunteer Firefighters of San Juan del Rïo, Pedro Escobedo and Tequisquiapan joined forced with the local Police, Civil Protection, and the Mexican Army.

Tequisquiapan firefighters used sea rescue equipment to rescue the people trapped in their homes.

At the moment, authorities haven't made public the extent of the material damages or whether any one was injured by the discharge of the dam. Likewise, there isn't an official number of people affected by this situation.

As of the 4:00 hours of today, other communities have reported flooding, given the flow of the river has been running along the stream bed.

Through a press release, the local government of San Juan del Río stated they hold CONAGUA responsible of all the damages.

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