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Underpass flood turns deadly

A tragedy at a Zapopan underpass occurred just a few hours after this newspaper went to press last week—an edition in which we published a front-page image and caption highlighting the dangers of flash flooding in Guadalajara tunnels.

pg5Two people, a nurse and the senior citizen for whom she cared, drowned when their vehicle became trapped after water began pouring into the underpass located at Avenida Central and Periférico Poniente, during a heavy rainstorm on the evening of Thursday, September 7.

According to Zapopan Mayor Juan Jose Frangie, the incident was a one-off occurrence provoked by overflow from an open water drainage channel that ran into the area from the nearby community of San Juan Ocotan.  The underpass had never flooded previously and was not on the municipality’s radar as a flood risk zone, he said.

One news report quoted the son of the man who died in the tunnel as saying that his father had phoned to tell him they were stranded in the tunnel. However, within the space of just six minutes, and before any help could arrive, the water level had risen to three meters.

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