Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador says he had to face a tough decision on whether to allow the flooding of a large city or direct excess water to poorer, less populated local areas.
CITY OF MEXICO ̵
“It hurts a lot,” Lopez Obrador said, noting that “there would have been many more people affected” if the town of Villahermosa had been flooded. He promised to drag river canals and reduce the focus on hydropower generation at a dam whose ebb contributed to the problem.
Lopez Obrador defended his decision to open strategic locks, saying it had avoided major flooding in Villahermosa, the capital of Tabasco, the coastal state of the Persian Gulf and home to more than 350,000 people.
Tabasco is the president’s home country, and heavy rains have affected about 161,000 people whose homes have been flooded or had to be evacuated.
But on Sunday, he said that when a dam in Tabasco reaches capacity, water should be released and “we should choose the lesser of two evils, not flood Villaermosa.”
“This later hurt the people of Nakazhuka and the Chontal region, the poorest people, but we had to make a decision,” Lopez Obrador said. Most of the rural town of Nakajuka has about 83,000 inhabitants.