July 26 (UPI) — Four migrants have died this week and several others have been rescued, after being swept away by currents in the Rio Grande, Texas authorities said.
The typically slow-moving river on the U.S.-Mexico border is swollen after heavy rains in the area. El Paso water rescue crews recovered the body of a 37-year-old woman on Monday, and three more bodies — a teen boy, a teen girl and an adult woman — were recovered Tuesday.
A sister of the teenage girl was later found in Juarez, officials said. She was from Guatemala and part of a group attempting to illegally enter the United States.
Seven people were rescued from the river on Tuesday, and an El Paso Police Department spokesman said officials are searching for several people still unaccounted for.
The Rio Grande, the 1,900-mile-long river typically is shallow in the El Paso area, but it’s risen three feet in the past two weeks due to rain. Ten bodies have been pulled from the river so far this year, compared to six in all of 2016.
“People don’t understand that the way the water works, in that it pushes you and sucks you. It is going to be an extremely dangerous attempt for someone trying to walk or swim across,” El Paso Fire Department spokesman Carlos Briano told The New York Times.