Immense masses of water swallow parts of the Mexican city of Tula. Covid patients can no longer be supplied with oxygen in a hospital. For many, any help comes too late.
Tula – Heavy rain flooded a hospital in Mexico, killing 17 patients.
In the entire central Mexican community of Tula, where more than 100,000 people live, the power supply collapsed, as the head of the State Institute for Social Security (IMSS), Zoé Robledo, announced from the roof of the clinic in a video that the Mexican government opened Twitter published. The hospital’s generator was also under water. This interrupted the supply of oxygen to Covid 19 patients.
After the heavy rainfall on Monday evening (local time), a river, which is also called Tula, overflowed its banks. A total of three rivers overflowed their banks in the region. Floods also occurred in the city of Ecatepec, a few kilometers from Mexico’s capital.
Hospital was evacuated
In Tula, in the state of Hidalgo, the water was so high that rescue operations at the hospital had to be carried out with small boats. The governor of Hidalgo, Omar Fayad, was also there in a boat – it capsized. But he’s doing well, wrote Fayad on Twitter.
The state electricity provider CFE announced that the supply of the historic center of the city of Tula had been interrupted as a precaution. An emergency power generator had been set up at the clinic in question.
According to Robledo, 56 patients had been treated in the state hospital – about half for Covid-19 diseases. The survivors would be brought to safety – according to Fayad, they should come to the nearby city of Pachuca for further treatment. According to media reports, newborns also had to be evacuated in incubators.
Hundreds of people had to seek shelter in emergency shelters at dawn. Mexico’s government declared a state of emergency in 27 communities in Hidalgo. More than 1000 soldiers should be deployed to support the authorities.
Oxygen supplies inaccessible
The entire oxygen supply was stored in the lower area of the hospital, said the emergency doctor Héctor Arias on Radio Fórmula. The oxygen was under water and was inaccessible. “That hurts a lot,” said Arias, “as a doctor you can’t help.” In the morning (local time) he published a live video on Facebook. It showed doctors waiting for help on the roof of the hospital. “Oxygen, water, milk,” they call out to a passing boat. “Patients are running out of time,” commented Arias.
The deaths made him very sad, wrote President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Twitter. He also warned that it would continue to rain in the affected area – the Valley of Mexico – and called on all residents of low-lying areas to move to safety. Those who were still at home would be picked up in boats, tweeted Governor Fayad. He called for donations for the residents of Tula. dpa