Mexican mudslide update: thousand dead becomes zero

Reuters

Instead of thousands feared dead, reports are now saying that no one has been confirmed dead, and officials are hopeful that those few missing will be found alive.  This is great news for some regions of Mexico, which have received plenty of rain during this summer season, especially in its tropical locales.   It seems the remoteness of Santa Maria Tlahitoltepec in Oaxaca led worldwide news agencies to report/speculate about “feared dead” at the same time acknowledging that limited first hand accounts of the situation were available.  In this case, everyone is happy that the worst case scenario suggested by local authorities translated into the best case scenario.

From the BBC:

Mexican officials have dramatically scaled back the number of people believed buried by a landslide in a remote southern town.

After rescuers reached Santa Maria Tlahitoltepec in Oaxaca, officials said 11 people were missing.

Local authorities originally said a collapsed hillside had engulfed hundreds of houses, raising fears of many deaths.

The region has seen weeks of heavy rain, and mudslides remain a risk.

The news first emerging from Santa Maria Tlahitoltepec on Tuesday prompted authorities to despatch hundreds of soldiers, police and firefighters to the region

Reports suggested the number of victims could be as high as 1,000.

But when rescue teams managed to get to the town, high in the Sierra Juarez mountain range, they discovered only several homes appeared to have been destroyed.

BBC
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September 29, 2010 1:33 am

No ‘thousands’ dead and the media quickly lose interest. Only hysteria inducing news is now news.

Patrick Davis
September 29, 2010 1:34 am

I am confident that some “official” somewhere will attribute this to climate distruption.

DonK31
September 29, 2010 1:35 am

It’s not worse than we thought?

Evan Jones
Editor
September 29, 2010 1:49 am

Just apply an adjustment.

Ken Hall
September 29, 2010 1:53 am

I would be willing to bet that the first incorrect news report of a thousand dead will still be the number used when statistics show how many people have been killed globally by climate change though.

Mike McMillan
September 29, 2010 1:59 am

Good news, nevertheless.

Jackie
September 29, 2010 2:08 am

Imagine, climate disrupts!
We can all do something about this. Contact your local politician today and demand climate stability treaty now.

Dave Springer
September 29, 2010 3:59 am

Global Dirt Disruption!
Coming to your neighborhood soon.

Chris Edwards
September 29, 2010 4:11 am

A question for someone here? would a cooling world lead to more rainfall untill it has stabilised at the new temp? like cloud mechanics on a global scale?

Alan the Brit
September 29, 2010 4:22 am

Good news indeed!
However, like Pakistan, Mexico is a relatively poor country. The buidling standards are dubious, probably no official effective regulatory system in place for building standards, poor ground conditions, poor foundations choice, limited or no planning consultation process leading to poor siting of buildings & homes, poor surface water run-off systems in place, poor catchment control generally. The list is not exhaustive! Curiously enough, the UK is a relatively wealthy country (if in hock to the eyeballs) but most flooding here is as a result of poor catchment control & inadequate maintenance of an aging drainage system, (not unlike the Hurricane Katrina aftermath), & the dumbest thing of all local authorities letting developers build on flood plains, with inadequate foundation systems, because they need the tax revenues! Of course AGW & CC are far more dramatic excuses! In any case, it really is due to climate change, that’s what the climate does, it changes on all continents on all timescales!
People seem to forget the great floods that engulfed the River Thames in the late 1940s, 1947-8 I seem to recall but someone will correct me I am sure. Thames Water Authority spent £M upgrading river systems, tributary flood alleviation shemes, & the like over a 20 year period to prevent it happening again ( I worked on some of them). In the grander scheme of things this fear of flooding led to the building of the Thames Barrier (a marvelous feat of British engineering if I say so myself).

amaze
September 29, 2010 5:26 am

But it could get worse. Especially if we don´t pay someone to save us from AGW.

Pascvaks
September 29, 2010 5:47 am

Wonder where all those people are? I’ll bet there’s a lot less people in Mexico than anyone knows. Where do you think they could be?

lOKKI
September 29, 2010 7:13 am

I can’t believe that I’m going to have to be the first to assure you that when our projections are combined with the current data, it’s going to distort the plot and we’re going to have to take action to hide the decline.
Perhaps we can factor in some of the drug murders from the border area and extrapolate.

Eric Dailey
September 29, 2010 8:24 am

More illustration for why it is a good idea to kill your TV.

meemoe_uk
September 29, 2010 9:19 am

I think it was the same with the russian heat wave, where the mass media said hundreds were dying every week ‘cos of the heat. But I didn’t see a single case evidenced. It was hard to believe when the russian heat was only a couple of degrees warmer than the british heat wave of 10 years ago, in which no one died.

George E. Smith
September 29, 2010 9:26 am

I can remember some years ago, when big storm hit a coastal area of Bangladesh and supposedly killed 150,000 people; who I guess forgot to follow the cattle up to the higher ground.
It took about ten days before the UN relief agencies were able to get in gear and go into the areas to help out.
The official population of Bangladesh never went down though; they didn’t find the bodies as fast as the reproduction rate replaced them with new people. They still don’t follow the cows up the hill when it rains; but who are we to criticize them; people are moving back into New Orleans; aren’t they ?

Gary Hladik
September 29, 2010 3:05 pm

“South Park” mocked news media hype in its “Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow” episode:
http://newsbusters.org/node/2398

Ian H
September 30, 2010 4:38 am

@Chris Edwards: You ask “would a cooling world lead to more rainfall untill it has stabilised at the new temp? like cloud mechanics on a global scale?”
You have it backwards. Colder = drier and hotter = wetter. It is hot as in jungle, not hot as in desert. The roman warm period was significantly hotter than it is today. The sahara was green in roman times.

Chris Edwards
September 30, 2010 6:07 pm

IanH, yes I know that, what I asked was, given that warm air holds more water than cool, when the global air cools does it cause extra precipitation untill it sheds the excess and stabilised!
I also wonder if the little ice age was the cause of the Zulu homelands becoming uninhabitable causing their rampage down Africa until Michael Cain stopped them (that is sort of humor btw)

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