Nov 262011

Recent floods in parts of the city of Poza Rica (Veracruz) resulted in an unusually dangerous situation. As groundwater rose following exceptionally heavy rains, a mixture of water and oil flowed out of some street drains.

street awash with oil photo

A Poza Rica street awash with oil and water. Credit: La Voz del Sureste

The precise cause is unknown. The city is blaming the state oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex). Pemex claims that the hydrocarbons are natural tar, deposits of which underlie some parts of the region.

Whatever the cause, the flooding resulted in extremely hazardous conditions in the Chapultepec colonia, where Ébano, Nogal, Chopo, Eucalipto, Ciprés, Fresno and Sabino streets were badly affecfed, and in the Cazones colonia, where the aptly-named Pozo 13 (Well 13) was awash with oil. The mayor of Poza Rica was quoted as saying that “The rivers of crude left parked cars completely covered.”

Families living in the affected areas were evacuated temporarily for their own safety. Fortunately, local authorities, assisted by Environmental Protection officials and Pemex experts, were able to quickly bring the situation under control, without any loss of life or serious injuries.


  • Brota hidrocarburo de drenajes en Poza Rica (Diario La Voz del Sureste online)
  • Concluyen limpieza de derrame de hidrocarburo en Poza Rica (



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