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Floods kill six in northern Mexico
One year's worth of rain falls in three days, washing out roads and homes in Monterrey.
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2010 05:49 GMT
Felipe Calderon, the Mexican president, has deployed 1,200 soldiers to aid in relief efforts [AFP]

Flooding from Hurricane Alex has killed six people, washed away homes and cars and shut down business in Monterrey, one of Mexico's richest city.

More than a year's worth of rain fell on the northern industrial city in three days, swelling river beds and destroying chunks of highway.

Tens of thousands of homes were without water or power on Friday and many residents huddled in shelters in the city, located 1,000 km north of the capital, Mexico City.

Felipe Calderon, the Mexican president, has toured the damaged areas and dispatched 1,200 soldiers to help with relief efforts.

In San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico's richest suburb, floods from the hurricane washed furniture out of mansions and buffalo were washed out of the city zoo.

One woman was crushed to death by a mud-slide as huge rocks from surrounding mountains crashed down onto roads. 

"I thought we were going to die," Lesly Ramos, a housewife, told local radio as she surveyed the mud and rocks that had filled her middle class suburban home. 

City unprepared

Monterrey has usually been spared from hurricanes coming off the Gulf of Mexico and the city was unprepared for the storm.

The category 2 hurricane came on shore on Wednesday night, after it left 12 people dead in Central America.

The storm missed oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, but on Friday, surging rivers forced the closure of Femsa, a giant soft-drink manufacturer and Cemex, a global cement maker.

Kansas City Southern, a railroad company which owns tracks and runs trains in Mexico, has said that the storm had damaged some of its lines, forcing a partial shut down in cargo transport in northern Mexico.  

Hurricane Alex brought 80 centimetres of rain to some districts of Monterrey.

"That is more than the accumulated amount of rain in the 365 days of the year," said Jorge Camacho, director of rescue services in Nuevo Leon state, of which Monterrey is the capital.

Source:
Agencies
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