The number of deaths due to freezing temperatures in the north of the country rises to eight in the last hours while in the region there are still 20% of users affected without electricity service, business closures, and temperatures of up to 15 degrees below zero in some areas.
In Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, the death of an older adult who slipped on the ice when leaving a supermarket was reported, while the town of Río Bravo, in Tamaulipas, documented the death of two men who were day laborers and suffered hypothermia.
These deaths are in addition to those previously recorded of a motorcyclist who skidded on the frozen pavement in Ciudad Juárez and the death of three homeless people and an older adult in the metropolitan area of Monterrey, the second-largest metro area in Mexico and the most affected by the disaster.
Despite the fact that the cold front moved towards the southeast of Mexico, the National Meteorological Service (SMN) reported a new cold front and the 10th winter storm in the northwestern and northeastern states of the country is now impacting the area.
“Today’s weather is forecasted from very cold to icy, with minimum temperatures of -15 to -10 degrees Celsius in areas of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango and Nuevo León,” indicated the SMN.
The meteorological forecast predicted the fall of sleet or snow in the states of Chihuahua, Coahuila and Sonora.
The Mexican government reported 80% of electricity service restoration after the blackout on Monday that affected 4.7 million people in the north of the country due to the impact on gas supply from Texas.
“There is 20% still without power, but I estimate that by Wednesady or Thursday the situation will be under control because action is being taken, but these are lessons that we must take into account,” said President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
Later, the National Center for Energy Control (Cenace) specified that, due to the lack of availability of electricity generation, 2,200 megawatts (MW) of load continue to be affected on a rotating basis in the north and northeast regions of the country, in the states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas.
“The population and businesses in these regions are asked for their help to conserve, as much as possible, the use and consumption of electric power when it is restored,” requested the operator of the National Electric System (SEN).
The cold and the blackout forced the closure of factories, as in Chihuahua, where the National Council of the Maquiladora and Export Manufacturing Industry (Index) reported a loss of two billion dollars due to the stoppage of production.
Business groups in Nuevo León and Coahuila also reported moments in which they had to stop their operations and return tens of thousands of employees to their homes, although they did not specify the amount of the losses.
Dozens of neighborhoods in the capital of Nuevo León, where more than 40% of the users affected by the blackout are, reported up to 24 hours without electricity.