Wed, 12 Dec 2018
14
Mexico City

MEXICO CITY - Federal officials in Mexico declared a state of emergency for 11 municipalities in the northwestern state of Sinaloa due to flooding from a tropical depression's heavy rains that killed at least three people, authorities reported Friday.

Images in local and social media showed streets turned into raging rivers, swamping cars. El Universal newspaper posted video of an SUV being carried away by the current in Guamuchil as passengers scrambled to get onto its roof.

Soldiers went around in trucks to pick up residents and take them to safety, and the Sinaloa state government said more than 2,000 people had evacuated and 13 shelters were set up.

In a statement early Friday, state Attorney General Juan Jose Rios Estavillo reported that one person drowned and two were killed by electrocution. Three women were missing in Culiacan, the state capital, after presumably being swept away.

State Education Secretary Jose Enrique Villa Rivera said preliminary reports were that 100 schools were damaged by floodwaters, mainly their perimeter walls.

The tropical depression arrived in the area early Thursday and dumped as much as 14 inches (359 millimeters) of rain in just 24 hours, overflowing storm drains.

The Eustaquio Buelna dam in Guamuchil was said to have reached 144 percent of capacity, prompting authorities to release water downstream to avoid structural damage.

The stadium of the Dorados de Sinaloa soccer club, which recently signed Argentine legend Diego Maradona as coach, also flooded.

The state of emergency was declared by the federal Interior Department late Thursday.

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