- Title: MEXICO: Tabasco flood babies find shelter
- Date: 9th November 2007
- Summary: MOTHER'S WITH NAME TAGS IN THE SHAPE OF A HEART VARIOUS OF PREGNANT WOMEN SHELTER CO-ORDINATOR AND PREGNANT WOMEN
- Embargoed: 24th November 2007 12:00
- Location: Mexico
- Country: Mexico
- Topics: Disasters / Accidents / Natural catastrophes,Social Services / Welfare
- Reuters ID: LVA1FKHL2WATGIG3NZY7YZ4EEPZW
- Story Text: Communal dinning rooms, set up by the state and federal governments as well as shelters for new-born babies have been opened in the Tabasco state capital city of Villahermosa after tens of thousands of Mexicans were made homeless by massive flooding.
About 80,000 people from the flooded city of Villahermosa have taken refuge in crammed schools, churches and a multi-story parking garage.
In order to support flood victims, the Tabasco state government and the Ministry of Defense, have opened eleven dinning rooms where three free meals a day will be distributed to flood victims.
Residents will be able to visit five points in the state capital city of Villahermosa where clean water will be distributed free of charge.
Empty containers will have to be supplied by those in need who wish to receive food and water.
These will remain open until the emergency is over and people are able to return to their homes.
Days of heavy rains last week put most of Tabasco state, including the capital Villahermosa, under several feet of water, in one of the largest natural disasters in recent Mexican history.
Shelters for new mothers, whose babies were born after Tabasco state was ravaged by floods, have been opened at the Autonomous University of Tabasco.
Some babies are only two to three days-old. They sleep on floor matts with their mothers.
Most basic baby products such as bottles, clothes, creams, talcum powder and nappies were still lacking.
Doctor Antonio Curiel told Reuters that they are looking after eight babies, "Some are three or four days-old. The eldest is 20 days-old. All of them are healthy, except one who was taken to a hospital due to dehydration," he said.
Maria del Carmen Serino started to feel contractions when she was rescued from her house, "We were at home and I didn't want to leave because I thought that the water would not reach my house. When the river burst its banks and flooded motorways and water started to rise, I became very scared as the hours went by. When some boats passed in front of my house, we lit some candles and that is how they saw us and put us on a boat. When I was on the boat, my contractions started," she said.
The floods, caused by rivers overflowing after heavy rain, killed at least three people and damaged about $655 million worth of crops, homes, businesses and infrastructure. The floods will cost insurers $700 million.
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