Residents Protest 3-Day Blackout AmidRecord Heat Wavein Merida, Mexico

Residents of Merida's Cordemex neighborhood protested a 3-day blackout amid a record-breaking heat wave, causing food and medicine spoilage. The heat wave has caused widespread health damage and fatalities across Mexico, with 337 preliminary cases reported.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Residents Protest 3-Day Blackout AmidRecord Heat Wavein Merida, Mexico

Residents Protest 3-Day Blackout AmidRecord Heat Wavein Merida, Mexico

On May 9, 2024, approximately 20 residents of the Cordemex neighborhood, also known as Revolución, in Merida, Mexico, blocked the Mérida-Progreso highway in the afternoon. The protesters were demanding the restoration of electrical energy, which had been out for three days, causing food and medicine spoilage amid a record-breaking heat wave.

Why this matters: The prolonged blackout and heat wave in Merida highlight the vulnerability of communities to extreme weather events and the need for urgent action to mitigate their impact. As temperatures continue to rise globally, the frequency and severity of such events will increase, making it essential to develop and implement effective strategies for protecting public health and well-being.

The heat wave was particularly severe, with Mexico City reaching its highest temperature ever recorded on May 9th at the national Tacubaya Observatory. The blackout lasted for three days, resulting in significant losses for the residents, including spoiled food and medicine spoilage. The heat wave added to the residents' distress, making the situation even more critical.

The National Energy Control Center had decreed an Emergency Operational State in the National Interconnected System to carry out operational actions, but the residents of Cordemex were still without power. The protest highlights the urgency of the situation and the need for swift action to restore electrical energy to the affected area.

The severe heat wave has been causing widespread health damage and fatalities across Mexico. The Ministry of Health reported 337 preliminary cases of health damage due to extreme temperatures, with seven deaths confirmed. The number of cases has doubled in six years, mainly due to heat stroke, dehydration, andburns.

The National Meteorological Service warned of a second heat wave that will affect several Mexican states, with temperatures expected to exceed 40 degrees Celsius and reach up to 45 degrees in eight states. The high demand for electricity to combat the heat has led to massive blackouts, prompting the National Energy Control Center (Cenace) to declare an Operational State of Alert for four consecutive days.

On Thursday, 10 Mexican cities experienced record-high temperatures, according to the federal government. Germán Martínez Santoyo, director of the National Water Commission (Conagua), shared a government infographic on social media, which showed that the current heat wave has broken temperature records in these cities. In Gallinas, San Luis Potosí, a station recorded the hottest temperature in the country, reaching an extreme 49.6°C (121.3°F) on Wednesday.

The record-breaking heat wave and the prolonged blackout in Merida's Cordemex neighborhood underscore the urgent need for measures to mitigate the impact of extreme weather events on vulnerable communities. As temperatures continue to soar, the restoration of electrical energy and the implementation of heat-relief strategies are crucial to protect the health and well-being of affected residents.