At 70 years of age, Santos Macías fears only one thing: that his house in the El Deán neighborhood, in Guadalajara, will be flooded. He arrived 48 years ago with his wife, his children were born here and he has lived the best years of his life, however, every rainstorm, insomnia does not let him fall asleep, as soon as the first drops fall and with difficulty he goes down the stairs and try to protect the valuables you have in your home, because one thing is for sure: the water will end up entering.
In 2020, after the heavy rain that was registered south of Guadalajara, at least 170 houses were affected after the flood in El Deán, one of them was that of Santos. “I could not cope with stopping the water because the water rose a lot, but I had neighbors who did worse. I had to modify the entrance of my house in fear of losing my belongings, but you never know if it will be worse, ”he says.
El Deán is one of the areas that is most affected. According to the map created by researchers from the University Center for Social Sciences and Humanities (CUCSH), 350 points are susceptible to flooding in the Guadalajara Metropolitan Area (ZMG).
According to the academic from the University of Guadalajara (UdeG), Luis Valdivia Órnelas, some of the Points that will present problems during this rainy season and that are located in marginalized areas are: La Martinica, Indígena, Las Pintas, El Quince and Ferrocarril. In the case of the roads, the avenues Revolución, López Mateos, Mariano Otero and Calzada Independencia; but all municipalities have problem areas. For instance: in Guadalajara it has the area of the Ferrocarril or San Andrés neighborhood. In Zapopan, Arroyo Seco, El Garabato or Colomos. Tlajomulco de Zúñiga presents this problem in the Las Pintas canal, in the lower parts of El Ahogado or in Santa Anita, to name a few, and finally in Tonalá in Las Rucias.
Valdivia Órnelas explained that the excessive real estate development, the lack of adequate infrastructure, the loss of natural channels and the poor vision of integrated water management have caused the most vulnerable areas to have increased in recent years.
He said that the most important peak in the Guadalajara Metropolitan Area (AMG) begins in 2000, however, the growth of the city began in the 40s, date in which the first floods were registered considerably after having piped the San Juan de Dio Rivers, which lies hidden under the Calzada Independencia, although a strategy of expanding the collectors was established.
Thirty years later, in the 1970s, the flood record continued. “The first flood records that are in the lower part of San Juan de Dios are still occurring, and then no point has decreased its flood record but they have increased in surface and also in danger, this means that it has increased the height of the water surface and that the speed with which the water moves through these places has increased ”, he pointed out.
Channels such as El Arenal, El Chicalote, El Álamo or Santa María disappeared and were not replaced by collectors. When some major runoffs were replaced, such as that of San Juan de Dios, they did not have the same capacity as the natural channels and the natural capacity that existed in the Valley was restricted., by this policy the condition of hydraulic management of the city was compromised just at the moment in which the most important expansion began, that caused the problem that currently exists in the Metropolitan Area of Guadalajara, explained the research professor of the Department of Geography and Territorial Reorganization, of the CUCSH.
This year the rainy season began after June 20, according to the Institute of Astronomy and Meteorology (IAM) of the UdeG, prior to this date, The neighbors surrounding the El Deán regulating vessel called on the municipal authorities to intervene and they will guarantee you a definitive solution, because although various works have been carried out, they have not been enough.
Ismael Bernal, a resident of this neighborhood, hopes that the story of last year will not repeat itself. The walls of your house in blue color are still damp after the water penetrated from the outside to the interior of the house. He lost a screen, bed bases and mattresses, as well as clothes, appliances and books.
Although she lives with her son and grandchildren, that day they had gone to a party when the first drops began to fall; In less than five minutes the water began to enter even through the windows, it reached a height of one and a half meters, he did not sleep that day.
At the beginning of July, this neighborhood was one of those that was flooded after the storm that broke out in the metropolis, on this occasion – and fortunately – the height of the water was lower. His house is located on Calle 14, at the crossroads with Higuerillas, and better put a gate.
The storm is expected to end in September and he is aware that at any moment his home could be flooded again, but he says that he is foolish and prefers to stay and live in this neighborhood because he likes it and lives at ease, except for the weather rains.
Valdivia Órnelas explained that the authorities have always preferred to mitigate the problem by betting on the infrastructure issue, but in reality New criteria must be incorporated where actions are established to intercept water in the upper parts, expand green areas, increase vegetation and carry out retention works, since the collector is more committed to managing rainwater and the creation of infrastructure has not been the solution: “the collector had a finite and currently all collectors, since they no longer conduct or conduct rainwater minimally by 20 or 25 percent, given this situation that most of the axles were lost ”.
For the researcher it is essential to have a comprehensive intervention strategy in the short, medium and long term so that the marginalized population that is settled in these risk points is not so exposed to these phenomena that generate economic losses, but can also cost lives.
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