Extreme weather events caused flooding and killed dozens of people in the United States and Mexico over the weekend.
In the southern state of Tennessee, record rainfall has caused flooding that has left at least 21 people dead so far. Mexico already has 11 deaths from storms caused by the passage of Hurricane Grace.
In addition to those killed in the United States, Tennessee is still searching for more than 20 missing people. The state was hit on Saturday (21) by storms and floods considered historic by meteorologists, with 380 millimeters or more of rain.
The hardest hit city was Waverly, a town of 4,500 people 88 kilometers from the capital, Nashville, where hundreds of homes were destroyed and 20 people died. Mayor Wallace Frazier told a local newspaper there were victims of all ages, including babies and the elderly. Seven-month-old twins died after being blown away, according to the Washington Post.
State Governor Bill Lee described scenes of “loss and pain”. “Our hearts and our prayers must be with the people of this community,” he said after visiting the scene of the tragedy.
The floods also destroyed hundreds of trees, razed homes, and threw cars and trucks into hangars and other structures. In addition, dirt roads, national roads and bridges were destroyed and thousands of homes were left without electricity.
City officials likened the storm to a hurricane and said the water rose so quickly that some people did not have time to leave their homes. On Sunday (22), rescuers went from house to house in search of victims or people in need of help.
In Washington, President Joe Biden expressed “his deepest condolences for the sudden and tragic loss of life” in Tennessee. “I asked the FEMA administrator [Agência Federal de Gestão de Emergências] talk to the governor [Bill] Lee from Tennessee immediately and offer the necessary assistance, ”Biden said.
Authorities have announced a nighttime curfew as efforts to locate the missing continue.
Hurricane Grace hits Mexico
In Mexico, the number of deaths caused by the passage of Hurricane Grace rose to 11, according to the official tally, after the governor of the state of Puebla confirmed on Sunday (22) the deaths of three other people under the rain caused by the passage of the thunderstorm.
On Saturday (21), after Grace hit the country’s coast as a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale (which goes up to 5), the government of the neighboring state of Veracruz reported eight dead. Among them, a woman and her five children, entombed by the landslide that destroyed their house.
The phenomenon has left several communities in the center and east of the country in secrecy, either because of falling trees or because of extensive damage to the roads.
Grace has hit Mexico twice: Thursday, as Hurricane 1 entered the Yucatán Peninsula, where it caused property damage; and, Saturday, by the state of Veracruz, with winds of 205 km / h.
Upon touching the ground, it quickly degraded, but covered much of the country, causing rains over the weekend. As of Sunday evening, there was still a vestige of Grace activity in the Pacific, where, according to the United States National Hurricane Center, another tropical cyclone could reform by interacting with other systems.