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The 2007 Flood in Tabasco Mexico

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The Tabasco flood transpired in October and November of 2007. The flood occurred in the Mexico in the states of Chiapas and Tabasco. Around eighty percent of Tabasco went under water. Almost twenty thousand people were seeking shelters in emergency camps and more than one million people were affected by the floods. The Tabasco Floods were observed from Space by NASA. According to several officials of NASA, they claimed that low pressure was the main cause of the continuous rain and the strong winds in the State of Tabasco.

Casualty List

  • One Person dead
  • One Million people Affected (60% have been infected by various diseases)

The entire recalling before and after the Floods:

  • On Oct 23rd, 2007: A major mishap took place in stormy conditions at the Campeche Bay required the mass departure of the examination stand of Pemex Oil. In that operation more then twenty five works died and a week heavy rains start to pour on the Southern part of the Gulf Coast.
  • On Oct 30th, 2007: The River Grijalva begins to break along with its tributaries. All over the state radio and TV channels alert that flooding will start. A mass evacuation begins at a huge amount of risk. The Interior Secretary announces emergency in the Tabasco state.
  • The Next day Andres Granier, who is the governor of Tabasco revels that almost seventy percent of the Tabasco state is under water and more than three hundred thousand people are affected. Reports coming from the south suggest that there has been a lot of damage and numerous people are missing.
  • On November 1st, 2007 the governor announces that eighty percent of Tabasco is now under water and more than Four hundred thousand people are affected. Later that day the President of Mexico visits the area.
  • In the early morning of November 2nd, the River Grijalva breaks and the city of Villahermosa is evacuated. Now more than 1,000,000 people are affected with their homes being underwater.
  • The Authorities fear that people will start robbing stores therefore army is asked to intervene to ensure safety.
  • Many shops were looted on November 4 even in the presence of the army
  • On November 5th, 2007, many shelters report that there is a shortage of food. The President pays another visit and announces a plan which cancels the electricity bill and paying of taxes. Later a landslide on the Chiapas and Tabasco border damages 50 houses and around 75 people are missing.
  • The government on November 6th intervenes and pumps all the water from the city of Villahermosa and the levels of water in Carrizal and Grijalva significantly fall.
  • Later on November 17th rumors spread that the Grijalva is going to damage the penitas dam and Villahermosa will flood again causing further damage.

Geography of the State of Tabasco

Through the city of Villa Hermosa there are 3 rivers flowing and the landscape of the city is noticeable by many lagoons. Tabasco is at the southern part of Mexico and it is bordered by Chiapas which is towards the south, Campeche lies towards the north eastern part and towards the west is Veracruz. The eastern side of Tabasco is Guatemala’s Peten Department and Gulf of Mexico lies towards the northern part. The capital of Tabasco State is Villa Hermosa.

The geography of Tabasco is rather complicated. Almost the entire state is a coastal plain and is linked with rivers flowing from the southern part of Mexico. The main rivers flowing into the state are Rio Usumacinta and Rio Grijalva which meet later and flow into the Gulf of Mexico.

These rivers are said to be old and they are towards the lowest area of their entire course and where ever they cross from here lets them wider flows, twisting and later separating into different branches. Same is the case with Grijalva which first divides into different branches and than meet at Villa Hermosa. In Chiapas, the chief branch of the Grijalva is blocked by the 4 biggest hydroelectric plants in the country.

Reasons for the Floods:

The floods of Tabasco initiated from the tumbling of the land in the previous century. The steady removal of gas and petroleum, the building of barriers/dams in this particular area and the corrosion of land has been a major contributor to make this area prone to flooding. Due to Deforestation, the rivers have been filled with mud which has lowered their capacity and therefore creating floods also the beginning of rain fall because of the pressure system being low have all been contributors of creating a flood occurrence even poorer than it would have been.

Some forecasters termed that the levels of sea had increased due to Global Warming, which made the regions of water at the low sandy area to vanish at the Gulf of Mexico. But the rising of sea level because of global warming is most likely to be insignificant in the input to the Tabasco floods.

The main causes which point towards the real cause of the floods is the mistreatment of the dams built because of the monetary reason and also sleaze in support of all the private investors. The dams of Tabasco which had major hydroelectric plant had to share the making of electricity with private, new and a bit more luxurious gas plant. There were numerous protests by the investors who argued that the plants owned by the government tend to cover most of the electricity which is made and there were presurrizing the government to reduce the making on these hydroelectric plants so that they could sell more energy and increase their own personal profits. Because of this, dams which were built had to sustain more water which was not safe.

The Impact of the Tabasco Floods

The Tabasco floods in 2007 damaged many houses of families and washed away all the belonging of the people, besides this many museums, schools, libraries and theaters were also affected.

The financial shock at the country level will be unimportant. Even though there has been a significant amount of damage to the cocoa and banana fields which have increased their prices. The Tabasco flood will not have a significant impact on Mexico’s economy. The president of the Central bank of Mexico, Guillermo Ortiz Martinez confirmed that there is not going to be extreme inflation due to the flooding but the products prices would increase such as of Cocoa and banana. The entire harvests were damaged in the flooding and this damage was estimated to be around US$500 Million. Almost eight thousand people were sent immediately to save the people. Houses, farms and roads were all destroyed in the flooding. The state of Tabasco generates eighty percent out the entire country cocoa production and around forty percent of banana production. The international prices did not have a major effect even thought so much damage had been done. Through September to December cocoa is harvested and due to rains pouring for over a week the entire harvest was lost and the major impact was on the families who use to earn their living by producing cocoa. The president of Mexico, Felipe Calderon said

“The situation is extraordinarily grave: This is one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the country” (Sky News)

The floods of Tabasco also caused damage to the Jose Maria Pino Suarez State library and Central Library in Villahermosa and also around 80 libraries of different metropolis.

The National Response:

The disaster of Tabasco Floods united the people of Mexico. Help not only come from Mexico but also from abroad. Numerous people from different walks of life made significant amount of donations. Numerous entertainers along with the Football clubs in Mexico and the football players donated significantly to the cause.

Here is what some of the Mexican Football Clubs did for the disaster

  • America: This club helped the victims through Fundacio Television
  • Atlas: Along with Tecos and Atlas, by means of we sign your help (Firmanos tu Ayuda) campaign; they gathered more than 80 tons of supplies.
  • Chivas along with Tecos and Atlas gathered 80 tons of supplies and also arranged a match between Chivas USA and Chivas with the money going towards the relief efforts. It also donated around five houses.
  • The Club of Cruz Azul gathered supplies from various areas.
  • The club of Jaguares de Chiapas lent their stadium and also gathered various necessary items.
  •  The Club of Monercas Morelia donated 40% of their earnings from matches and also collected various items.
  • Monterrey club gathered around 90 tons of necessary items and offered their stadium for shelter purpose.
  • The Club of Pachuca took items at their own stadium and donated their match earnings.
  • Pumas UNAM donated 20 tons of items.
  • Puebla offered their stadium for shelter and donated the entire match fees of their three games.
  • Santos gave 50% of their earnings
  • San Luis took necessary items at their own stadium and donated money from their match earnings.
  • Tecos along with Chivas and Atlas collected 80 tons of necessary items and also sent their personal doctors to the state of Tabasco and also offered their stadium for medical purposes.
  • Tigres offered their stadium
  • Veracruz collected wanted items at their own stadium

A couple of players from the National team of Mexico, Gerardo Torrado who plays for Cruz Azul and Guillermo Ochoa who plays from Club America collected the necessary items needed by the victims and in return giving their autographs.

The Giant club of Spain, Real Madrid donated their match earning of their game against Real Mallorca and also gave the people of Spain a number where they could give their donations. The final amount was calculated at hundred thousand US dollars.

Televisa offered a five thousand dollar donation for each goal which is scored in the Mexico Apertura Tournament and as many as twenty six goals were scored which amounted to $130,000 United States Dollar.

A member of a Mexican National team, Omar Bravo collected items required by the affected victims through a Shared Heart (Corazon Compartido) campaign where he offered his autographed jersey to the fans that would come to the campaign and offer give or more kg of items.

Many people of Mexico made posters to support more aid to be given to the people affected by the flooding. One was a Olmec head which is a famous landmark in the city of Villahermosa and another showed the aerial footage of the floods. Posters were offered also through various websites. This helped to bring in more financial aid to the victims.

International Aid


  • Belgium donated 110,000 Euro
  • Canada donated 500,000 Canadian Dollars
  • Cuba sent 60 doctors who were specialists in different fields
  • England donated 10 hot-air balloon dinghies
  • Germany donated 250,000 Euro
  • Japan Donated 14 Million Yen ($127,000)
  • Republic of Ireland was the chief donator with donating 1 million Euro
  • United States donated 300,000USD

The State of California donated generators, suits, boats and blankets where as the giant store Wal-Mart donated $600,000

Financial Cost:

After severe flooding in the state of Tabasco, the state is almost bankrupt. The Chamber of Commerce claimed that around 16000 various enterprises in Villahermosa were totally destroyed in their inventories and infrastructure. This sate could have a harsh depression in the states economy as numerous businesses after losing their entire capital had the responsibility to pay the suppliers and with payments are being delayed by the government.

The people of Tabasco destroy down and start Robbing



Thousand of Victims in the sate of Tabasco have skin diseases, supplies lacking and therefore they turn to rob the stores. Food and Drinking water not being available prompted the affected victims to start robbing the business and homes which were empty.

The nastiest event occurred when more than a thousand people robbed a shopping area even though several law enforcing official were present in the area and they took with everything including home appliances.

When the disaster started, may people criticized the continuation of defacement groups. These people would enter houses which were empty and took away everything insight. Numerous operations by security officials took place in the area of Tabasco. The President asked for federal police and military troops to intervene in the state so that robbing would be averted. 

Prevention strategies:

In the area of petroleum Tabasco comes under one of the richest state in entire Mexico but when it comes to health and social services it is termed as the poorest state of them all. The flood disaster could have been avoided but the money which was planned to enhance the entire infrastructure was no where to be found. The Water Commission was in charge of building a hydraulic repair which would have lessened the water impact in the state of Tabasco. The concerned authorities can avoid a repeat of this disaster if they build a hydraulic plan to finish the problems. This infrastructure will comprise of construction of sea walls, border and breakwater to battle the sea and also the act of exhausting the rivers.


  • United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Mexico: Tabasco Floods, Date: 03 Nov 2007
  • United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Mexico: Tabasco and Chiapas Floods, Date: 06 Nov 2007
  • Sky News, Mexico Floods Leave Thousands Stranded November 02, 2007
  • AFP, One million people affected by Mexico floods (2007), Viewed from http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gtNYu685dO6dxFCHzPbHOSJQNT9Q

·         Sayrols, Monica Tabasco, Mexico floods affect 1 million people, over a third of them children, UNICEF. Viewed from http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/mexico_41652.html on Thursday March 13, 2008

  • Malkin, Elisabeth. Mexico: Floods Batter Tabasco State, New York Times Published: November 1, 2007

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