Flooding on both sides of The Pacific
Tropical systems cause flooding in Central America and central Asia.
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2011 10:36

View of a flooded avenue following the passage of Hurricane Jova in Manzanillo, Mexico [AFP]

There are no less than four active tropical depressions at the moment, all of which have their origins in the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Hurricane Jova made landfall in SW Mexico in the early hours of Wednesday, bringing damaging winds, flooding rain and heavy seas as it slammed into the coast, just to the west of Manzanillo. On arrival, it was a Category 2 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale but it has rapidly weakened and the winds are already barely gale force in strength.

Thankfully, It was a relatively small system so the worst conditions were not as far reaching as they might have been. However, there was still much destruction. At least 4 people are known to have died as Jova triggered mudslides and caused extensive flooding. The flash floods in the town of Villa del Coral in the municipality of Manzillo left dozens of people trapped on rooftops. The Navy were called in to help evacuate those stranded and even the Red Cross had to be rescued in the town of Cihuatlan.

The worst is certainly over now and a final warning has already been issued. The winds are no longer a major concern but it is still possible that the states of Michoacan, Colima, Jalisco and Nayarit could still see anything from 100 to 200 mm of rainfall over the next 24 hours.

Until recently, there was the possibility of the next tropical system then arriving in a similar part of the country this coming weekend. Tropical depression Irwin is only 350 km to the west-southwest of Manzanillo, however, it is weakening quickly and it is now expected to fizzle out as it drifts back out to sea on Friday.

Not too away far from here, we have yet another troublemaker in the form of Tropical Depression 12. This recently made landfall between Acapulco and the border of Guatemala. Again, the winds should not be too much of a problem, but the rain already is. It has been raining heavily in SE Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua for days and there has been flooding with mudslides which have so far killed at least 18 people. A final warning has been issued for the winds but the torrential rain will be ongoing.

Finally, on the other side of the Pacific, Tropical depression Banyan is now in the process of strengthening as it makes its way across the South China Sea. It is expected to pass just to the south of Hainan before adding to the floodwaters of central and northern Vietnam early next week.

Al Jazeera
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