The powerful Hurricane Grace Category 3 made landfall this Saturday in the town of Tecolutla, in the Mexican state of Veracruz, as reported by the United States National Hurricane Center (NHC).
“Grace made landfall off the coast of Mexico near Tecolutla shortly before 06h00 GMT with sustained winds of 205 km / h “, reported the NHC newsletter. Although gusts of 240 kilometers per hour were registered, according to the National Water Commission (Conagua) of Mexico.
The cyclone was moving at a speed of 17 km / h in a westward direction to advance over Mexican territory, where it wait for me to lose strength fast mainly because of the mountain ranges in the zone.
However, authorities in Veracruz, Puebla, Hidalgo, San Luis Potosí and Tamaulipas remain on the alert for potential floods, destruction of houses and river overflows that could leave the passage of the phenomenon.
For his part, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador stated on his official Twitter account shortly before midnight: “I am in communication with the governor of Veracruz, Cuitláhuac García. The hurricane will enter through Nautla at approximately one in the morning” .
“There are pending, informing and in support, 7,829 elements of Civil Protection of the state and the federation, as well as personnel of the Defense and Navy secretariats and the Federal Electricity Commission,” he added.
In addition, he urged residents who live in risk areas to move to safe areas: “I join the call that is being made to ask the people of the Veracruz, Puebla, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas and Hidalgo region to seek refuge in high parts with relatives and in shelters that are being installed “.
For their part, the Veracruz authorities had ready 200 shelters and they were prepared to activate 2,000 more if necessary.
Against meteorological forecasts, which estimated that at most it would be category 2, Hurricane Grace rapidly intensified as it passes through the Gulf of Mexico and in a few hours got stronger from 1 to 3 on a scale of 5, making it a potentially destructive phenomenon.
This is the second time that Grace made landfall in Mexican territory after arriving as category 1 at the Tulum resort on the Caribbean coast last Thursday, where it left minor material damage.
In the port of Veracruz, one of the largest in the country, the businesses located on the coast placed boards and protections over their windows and doors to avoid damage while the fishermen protected some 300 boats.
“We will go many days without fishing, almost a weekWe are affected like 35,000 fishermen because we cannot leave, “said Isabel Pastrana Vázquez, president of the Federation of Fishing Cooperatives of Veracruz, in dialogue with AFP.
Villagers also secured their homes after stocking up on canned food and water.
At the end of the afternoon, the authorities closed most of the highways in Veracruz, which is crossed by numerous rivers, were closed from the center to the north.
To all this, the National Civil Protection Coordination declared a state of emergency for 22 municipalities in the north of Veracruz due to Hurricane Grace.
With information from AFP.