The Impact of Hurricane Alex

The Impact of Hurricane Alex

  • by Architecture for Humanity
  • Jul 22, 2010
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A message from Bernardo Maldonado of our Monterrey chapter:

Last month, Hurricane Alex dropped 616mm of rain in 60 hours taking 15 lives. Early damage calculations estimate $800-$1,000 Million USD for reconstruction of main infrastructure, not including housing. This numbers will easily go up 2 or 3 times for Nuevo Leon. The other two states adjacent to NL affected were Coahuila and Tamaulipas that together probably sum another $2 billion.

No official final numbers have been published yet but so far 43 out of 51 municipalities are in a state of disaster. Most of the poorest ones are located outside the metropolitan area and south of the State. These are counties like Arramberri, Montemorelos, Zaragosa, Hualahuises, among others. North of the state communities were affected by the Rio Bravo flooding. Anahuac was completely flooded with 20,000 people displaced. Initial damages are estimated around $160M USD, a county with an annual Budget of $9 million.

At the Monterrey metropolitan level, which includes 7 municipalities, 160,000 people are without water services. So far around 5,000-8,000 homes have been damaged or lost. These are not yet official stats and do not include rural areas. Hopefully soon the State will issue a complete report. 7,000 families that lived on the channels of Rivers and lakes are in need of relocation if they want to avoid a flooding situation in the future. 90 bridges and ford crossings as well as 80 schools were completely or partially damaged. Private companies have estimated $100 Million in damages.

Each community has particular needs and some go from providing accessibility, water and services to rebuilding roads and homes. Many of the poorest communities are in need of basic services but not necessary new homes. We will have to make a more detailed assessment of that. To provide shelter and new homes, our target will be to focus in the municipalities with greater housing need, such as Linares, Montemorelos, Allende and Zaragosa, South of the city. Some early estimates of these areas calculate 3,000 damaged homes and a need of 1,000 new ones.

This is just the beginning. The needs are insatiable, but there is hope.

Lets get to work.

If you can provide aid and support, please contact us at

Bernardo Maldonado

With information and images from El Norte Newspaper