Corruption, in addition to climate change, may have been responsible for the devastation caused by the Tabasco floods. You’ll remember that floods in Tabasco last month, caused by up to 30 inches of rain, ruined all of the crops, stopped oil production, and caused one million people, about half the state’s population to be displaced. About 70,000 people were in shelters in Villahermosa and another 20,000 were living on their roofs. Indigenous people in the interior found themselves stuck on islands in the flood water. And recently, it was reported that the entire state was being sprayed with insecticides to prevent an outbreak of dengue, a mosquito born disease similar to malaria. 280 people are still unaccounted for.
Today the AP, comparing the situation in Tabasco to Katrina, reported:
The government knew Mexico’s Gulf coast was a disaster in waiting long before three rivers surged out of their banks, flooding nearly every inch of the low-lying state of Tabasco and leaving more than 1 million homes under water.
But officials admit they never finished a $190 million levee project that was supposed to have been done by 2006 and would have held back much of the rising waters that flooded Tabasco at the end of October.
The tragedy was reminiscent of the Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2005, when levees failed and swamped much of New Orleans, forcing people to flee by wading through dirty waters. In Tabasco, days of relentless rain – not a hurricane – were to blame.