Northern Mexico suffers worst winter in 20 years
MEXICO CITY, Mexico (AP) -- Northern Mexico was put on alert Friday after
a cold front dropped temperatures even further this week in the region where an
unusually cold winter -- the coldest in 20 years in some parts -- has caused more
than 60 deaths since October, local media reported.
Hypothermia and affixation from using propane gas stoves as heaters have
caused the majority of deaths in the region, where few homes have heating.
Many of the deaths were from poor families living in shacks made of cardboard
and wood slats.
In the border city of Tijuana across from California, two babies died in
week from exposure after the cold whipped through their humble homes, the
Mexico City newspaper Reforma reported Friday.
In the northern state of Tamaulipas across from Texas, cold weather has
five children and an 83-year-old woman in December, the Mexico City
newspaper Universal reported Friday. The deaths were caused by exposure and
respiratory illnesses related to the cold.
In the central state of Zacatecas, four children under the age of five
this month from respiratory illnesses related to the cold, Universal reported.
In the northern state of Chihuahua, 49 people have died this year from
respiratory illness, hypothermia and asphyxiation -- all related to the low
temperatures, officials said.
Officials in Mexican states bordering the United States were passing out
thousands of blankets and food baskets to the poor Friday. Police were advised
to take anyone found sleeping on the streets to shelters.
In the northern Mexican town of Nogales across from Arizona, temperatures
dropped to -10 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit), the lowest in 20 years,
Authorities closed ports along the Gulf of Mexico from the Texas border
The forecast called for more days of cold and possible snow fall in the
mountains of northern Mexico and along the base of the Nevado de Toluca
volcano outside Mexico City.
Copyright 2000 The Associated Press.