Mazatlan estuary Infiernillo loses 90% of its surface


From 1960 to 2018, the estuary went from having 381 hectares to 35; they continue to fill and authority do nothing to stop them.

MazatlanSinaloa .- Instead of safeguarding areas, to cushion the risk of flooding in Mazatlan, there was a very fast process in the opposite direction: occupy the flood areas for urban development, lamented Juan de Dios Garay Velázquez.

As a member of the College of Civil Engineers of Mazatlan, Garay Velázquez, along with Rafael Zataráin González, made a diagnosis of flood risks in Mazatlan, which he presented last December in the Sustainable Storm Drainage Forum, convened by the State Congress.

Based on the study, he indicated that in 1931, after Avenida Gutiérrez Nájera, there were agricultural fields, lagoon and estuarine waters. All that was absorbed by the urban sprawl.

In 1960 the estuary of Infiernillo had 381 hectares, was reduced to 25% in 1990, with 97 hectares; and, in 2018 they were barely 35.

God Garay Velázquez.

The specialist said that the city is exposed to the presence of cyclones and the modifications that have been made do not contribute to reducing this risk, on the contrary, they increase it.

“With all the laws, with all the regulations that exist, it has not been possible in Mazatlan to stop the invasion of the bodies of water, there is no authority to stop it,” he stressed.

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The landfills, said they have been done in two ways: by those who need housing and invade the margins of the estuary to build their house and by the authorities that occupy the space for urban development.

And every day a piece more of the estuary is filled, the proof is in the invasion in the zone of the avenue Juan Pablo II, that from principles of 2018 grows more and even has electrical energy, in spite of being in a zone of mangroves.


Garay Velázquez pointed out that it has not been understood, why the need to preserve the Estero del Infiernillo as a buffer zone for floods.

He explained that the conflict can be divided into two: The Arroyo Jabalines-Estero del Infiernillo-Canal de Navegación-Mar y; the different basins of the city.

It is the first that most worries and so it is, that since 1988, seven studies have been carried out to attack the problem, although they show differences in the hydrological results that would lead to errors in the proposed solution.

He pointed out that at the end of the system there is the Pacific Ocean, at the beginning, a basin that contributes towards the Jabalines Stream and when the occurrence of important precipitations occurs with a storm tide, the water has no outlet and spills over the city.

“The hurricane tide of Hurricane ‘Willa’ was expected with waves of six meters in height, it means that at the end of the system we will have a water dam of six meters in height, there will be no way to drain the water that capture the Jabalines stream, “he exemplified.

Fortunately for the Mazatlecos, that hurricane remained a threat, but any day can become a reality.

Therefore, he said that it is recommended not to build at a height of less than 2.20 meters above sea level, but even with that elevation, a storm like ‘Willa’ would flood everything.

“There is a very high risk of flooding, much more catastrophic than Storm E-19 that affected Culiacán and nothing has been done, despite the seven studies, moreover, the opposite of common sense has been done, filling the areas estuarine for urban use, “he said.

And so the estuary has been filled, he said, that of 416 meters of mouth that it had in 1930, now it only has 49 meters and two bridges, one vehicular and one of railway, that do not leave the free circulation of water.

And under the bridges they pass fuel pipelines to storage areas.


For Héctor Andrés Rodríguez Andrade, president of the College of Civil Engineers of Southern Sinaloa, invasions of flood risk areas occur because there are those who profit from the need of people for a housing space.

He indicated that there are those who believe leaders who will solve their problems and even give them money for paperwork.

“And the leaders have the benefit of staying with one or two plots of land that we later see converted into very profitable businesses,” Rodríguez Andrade stressed.

Source: El Sol de Mazatlan

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