After hitting Haiti and impacting other Caribbean islands this week as a tropical storm, Hurricane Grace, which continues to intensify, is expected to make landfall on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula early Thursday.
Grace’s arrival will bring strong winds, a dangerous storm surge and heavy rain to much of the eastern coast of Yucatán, potentially including Cancun, Cozumel and Punta Herrero, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC). English).
The area has been under a hurricane warning since Tuesday as Grace organized herself better as she moved westward, hitting Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.
Sustained winds are 130 km / h, making it a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
The central and northern parts of the Yucatan Peninsula can receive 10 to 20 centimeters of rain with up to 30 centimeters in isolated areas, which could lead to flash floods and urban flooding.
Storm surges in the area are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions, according to the NHC.
The current path of the storm has it emerging into the Bay of Campeche as a tropical storm after losing some force over the Yucatan. It is then forecast to regain intensity in open water and threaten the Mexican mainland from Friday night through Saturday, potentially again as a Category 1 hurricane.
Hotels and businesses prepare for the storm
At least 125 tourists have been evacuated from hotels and taken to shelters before Grace makes landfall, Quintana Roo state governor Carlos Joaquín González said Wednesday night.
“In Tulum, hotels have been evacuated and tourists taken to different hotel shelters,” González said on Twitter.
Work-related activities in Quintana Roo have been suspended and local leaders called on businesses to close temporarily and for people to remain at home or in shelters overnight.
“The crossings from Cancun to Isla Mujeres were suspended; all ports are already closed to navigation. Waves of up to 4 meters high are expected,” González said.
Grace “slightly changed her trajectory to the south of Tulum,” González said. “We are ready to receive it at dawn, and tomorrow we will be in communication to see the details of the passage of this hurricane through our state.”
The local government issued a red alert that represents the “greatest risk” for eight municipalities, including: Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Tulum, Solidaridad, Puerto Morelos, Benito Juárez, Lázaro Cárdenas, Isla Mujeres and Cozumel.
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