Updated: September 8, 2021 4:48:27 pm
At least 17 patients died after flooding hit a hospital in central Mexico, disrupting the power supply and damaging oxygen equipment, authorities said Tuesday.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador urged residents at risk to seek shelter, areas of higher ground or stay with friends or relatives.
“In this honorable job there are good, very good, bad and very bad days; today is one of the latter days,” Lopez Obrador tweeted. “I am very saddened by the death of 17 hospital patients.”
He added: “A lot of rain has fallen in the Valley of Mexico and it will keep raining.”
A video from the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) said roughly 40 other patients survived as waters submerged downtown Tula, some 60 miles (100 kilometers) north of Mexico City.
“At this moment, the rescue maneuvers are being carried out in the HGZ No.5 Tula, Hidalgo,” the IMSS tweeted.
“Once the last 20 patients have been evacuated, we will begin to evacuate our staff, who have been at the foot of the canyon at all times.”
Majority of victims were Covid-19 patients
Video footage from inside the hospital showed knee-deep water as staff frantically tried to evacuate or move patients to safety. IMSS Director Zoe Robledo said the floods knocked out power to the area as well as the hospital’s generators.
He added the hospital had been caring for 56 patients when the hospital became inundated.
Mexican media reported that most of the people who perished at the flood-hit hospital were patients suffering from Covid-19.