Puerto Madero, Chiapas, disappears due to climate change

Eroded beach at Puerto Madero

By: Andrés Domínguez

Chiapas would be one of the states most affected due to the increase of the average sea level.

As a consequence, the beaches close to Puerto Madero would disappear due to the increase of the average sea level; additionally, the number and intensity of hurricanes would also increase in that Soconusco area.

San Benito and Villa San José, are beaches located in Puerto Madero, Tapachula, which have lost more than 132.99 hectares of terrain due to erosion and climate change. These are considered one of the first affectations and it’s expected to intensify in the coming years, as Vicente Castro, a researcher at the Natural Resources and Climate Change Unit of the Autonomous University of Chiapas, reported.

The community of Puerto Madero is naturally located in a high risk zone, where the increase in the intensity and number of hurricanes will rise, as well as the increase in the average sea level; these are factors that would considerably increase the danger for the population, the infrastructure, and the productive activities, especially tourism, Castro said.

In his most recent research, Castro estimated a loss in surface terrain of 1 million 329 thousand 918 square meters between the two beaches; therefore, the damage would exceed an economic damage of 500 million pesos, considering the damage to the tourist infrastructure and the work of protection.

In this scenario, the academic mentioned that at the end of the 21st century, the temperature in Mexico will have an increase between 2 and 4 º C, in the particular case of the Soconusco an increase between 2.3 and 2.5 º C towards 2080-2099 is expected, which will bring more severe consequences for the area that may even include the disappearing of population. About this last topic, in 2007 the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) elaborated a scenario of an increase of at least one meter in the middle level of the sea in Mexico in which the most affected states would be Campeche, Chiapas, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, Sinaloa, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Veracruz and Yucatán.

Given this, the academic warned that the beaches of the western sector of Puerto Madero community are strongly eroded beaches; at the same time, the work of building a “height port” [Puerto Chiapas] contributed to the deterioration of the area. [1]

Climate change in Tapachula is already causing economic losses due to infrastructure damage to the community that surely exceeds 500 million pesos, this without counting the proper value of the beaches, Castro communicated.

[1] Puerto Chiapas is a relatively new commercial port built for cruise ships and tourism at Puerto Madero.


Originally Published in Spanish by Chiapas Paralelo

February 26, 2019


Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee







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