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Approaching Storm has Tijuana Authorities Preparing for the Worst

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

Authorities in Tijuana are preparing for the heavy rains. Emergency officials are working to spread word about the storm to people in Tijuana's far flung neighborhoods. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has the story.

Tijuana's director of Civil Protection, Alberto Escobedo, says weather officials predict the same amount of rain as 1993 when storms killed 28 people in Tijuana and left about 5,000 homeless.

He says then the city's lack of infrastructure combined with four inches of rain in just six hours spelled disaster.

Escobedo says a similar prediction for heavy rain this weekend has them preparing for the worst.

Escobedo says shelters in Tijuana and Rosarito are ready to take in 2000 people and more shelters are open in neighborhoods throughout the region.

Tijuana still suffers from overcrowded neighborhoods and drainage problems that contributed to massive flooding in 1993.

Many newcomers live in makeshift homes on hillsides. Escobedo says that makes them vulnerable and many don't realize what heavy rain can do.

Amy Isackson, KPBS News.

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