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10 dead in Mexico floods

world Updated: Nov 05, 2007 11:08 IST

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Authorities said two more bodies were found floating in brackish waters covering much of Mexico's southern Gulf coast, as residents began running perilously short of food and water after a week of devastating floods.

The Interior Department said the cause of death of the two people found on Sunday was under investigation. If confirmed caused by the flooding, the disaster's toll would stand at 10.

"We are seeing one of the worst natural catastrophes in the history of the country," President Felipe Calderon said yesterday in Tabasco state. "Not only because of the size of the area affected, but because of the number of people affected."

Since rivers first began to burst their banks October 28, the flooding has destroyed or damaged the homes of as many as half a million people, and at least that many more have been affected by severed utilities and transportation corridors, according to government estimates. In neighbouring Chiapas state, four bridges and 300 kilometers of roads were washed out.

"People are fighting over food and water, and the lack of electricity and running water are making life in the city impossible," said Martha Lilia Lopez, who has been handing out food to victims on behalf of a nonprofit foundation she heads.

Many in Tabasco remained camped out on the rooftops or upper floors of their flooded homes to guard their possessions from looters, but their resolve was running out - along with water, food and other supplies.