(Reuters) - Thousands of people fled a Mexican city devastated by floods on Friday after rising waters burst through sandbag barriers in a disaster that has left most of the tropical state of Tabasco under water.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been made homeless and one person killed in the worst flooding the low-lying swampy state has seen in more than 50 years.
The banks of the Grijalva River, which winds through state capital Villahermosa, burst earlier this week after days of heavy rains.
People and livestock swam through the streets on Friday after a murky, brown deluge burst through sandbags in Villahermosa, home to around half a million people.
Hungry and thirsty residents stood in long lines at supermarkets, although some stores closed after running out of food, water and medicine.
"There isn't much on the shelves, and what is left is very expensive," said Juan Pablo Rosas.
The army evacuated most of the city center on Thursday night after a levee broke.
President Felipe Calderon said Mexico's entire air force was engaged in an airlift to ferry supplies into Villahermosa and get residents out. He called on private airlines to help the effort.