VERACRUZ, Mexico—Hurricane Grace closed as a major Category 3 hurricane off Mexico’s Gulf Coast late Friday, drenching small fishing towns and beach resorts as it made its second landfall in the country in two days. was on the way.
The storm lost power as it swept through Mexico’s main tourist strip, crossing the Yucatán Peninsula on Thursday, but rapidly regained power from the relatively warm Gulf of Mexico as it moved toward the country’s mainland. Was.
The US National Hurricane Center said Grace had maximum sustained winds of 120 mph (195 kph) late Friday and could gain slightly higher strength before making landfall. It was centered about 75 miles (120 kph) southeast of Tucpan and was moving to the west at 10 mph (17 kph).
Forecasters said Grace would lose strength quickly on Saturday as it moved inland on a mountain range carrying its heavy rain toward the heart of the country, including the Mexico City area. Forecasters said it could drop 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 cm) of rain, bringing more in some isolated areas – the risk of flash floods, landslides and urban flooding.
Hours before coming close to shore, GRACE caused strong winds, strong waves and rain in the Veracruz communities of Tucpan, Poza Rica, Xalapa and the city of Veracruz, as well as the coastal cities of the states of Tabasco and Tamaulipas, according to Mexico’s Meteorology the agency said.
The fishermen pulled their boats out of the water and carried them inside the harbor to prevent damage as the leading edge of the storm hit the shore. Merchants climbed onto the windows of their business for their own safety.
Officials expect the central states and the Mexican capital to receive impact as a tropical storm, with strong thunderstorms and intermittent rain during the weekend.
Heriberto Montes Ortiz, head of the General Technical Sub-Directorate of Mexico’s National Water Commission, said the grace could cause flooding, landslides and damage to roads and highways in low-lying areas, along with swelling of rivers and streams.
The agency was monitoring rivers, dams and communities expected to see heavy rains, especially in the states of Veracruz, Puebla, Hidalgo and Tlaxcala.
The storm struck early Thursday near Tulum, a Yucatan resort town famous for its Mayan ruins. Some families spent several hours taking shelter from broken trees and flying debris.
As the storm struck, Carlos Gonzalez grabbed his 1.5-year-old son and fled his home with his wife to a school-set up shelter, using the light of his cellphone to find his way through the dark streets.
“The only thing left with me is what I’m wearing,” said the construction worker. “I knew my house wouldn’t tolerate this because it’s made of cardboard. When the wind came I got really scared and decided to leave.
There were no reports of deaths, but many roads were blocked by fallen limbs and trees, snapping power lines, leaving thousands of people in the dark on Thursday.
Most businesses remained closed on Friday, and those that did open had long lines of people to buy tortillas and other food.
Quintana Roo State Govt. Carlos Joaquin said the storm had knocked out power to about 84,000 customers in Cancun and 65,000 customers in Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Puerto Aventura and Tulum.
by Felix Marquez and Fabiola Sanchez
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times