Arizona Daily Star: In one of the country's worst flooding disasters, as many as 500,000 people are homeless and at least 10 are dead after rainwater and swollen rivers washed over 80 percent of Tabasco state last week. But as cleanup efforts finally begin, exhausted residents and angry officials alike are pointing fingers.
President Felipe Calderón left no question where the blame should go: "I can assure Tabasqueños that the origin and cause of this catastrophe is enormous climate change," he said during a tour of the ravaged state. He called the flooding the result of three days of record-breaking rainfall.
But as in
For thousands of years the
More recently, the Grijalva watershed has nourished dams that produce about a quarter of
Much of the post-flooding analysis has centered on the massive dams upriver of
Calderón has received mixed reviews on his handling of the crisis. The Mexican president visited the affected zone three times in its earliest stages, but some say he didn't order enough federal troops to
But most of the criticism has been directed at bureaucrats and past governors in
Days before the city of a half-million residents flooded, officials with
Víctor Magaña, meteorologist with the National Autonomous University of Mexico, said dam officials should have expected heavy rains at the end of October because of a La Niña effect over the
Yet criticism also is focusing on hundreds of millions of dollars in government money allocated for flood prevention since 1999, the last time
That year 60 percent of the swampy, low-lying state flooded, leaving 186,000 without homes and neighborhoods underwater for five weeks.
In 2003, officials came up with a plan to protect