A Veracruz highway after Hurricane Franklin. The Xalapa-Naolinco highway after the hurricane.

Minor damages from Hurricane Franklin

No casualties after first hurricane of season makes landfall in Veracruz

Tropical storm Franklin made its second landfall last night but this time as a category 1 hurricane, bringing winds stronger than 120 kilometers per hour and accumulated precipitation of 300 millimeters in some locations.

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Although its effects, mainly in the form of heavy rainfall, continue to be felt today, no lives have been lost. The first hurricane of the Atlantic hurricane season was soon downgraded to a low-pressure zone after touching land near midnight at Lechuguillas, about an hour and a half north of the city of Veracruz.

The brunt of the hurricane was felt in the state of Veracruz where Governor Miguel Ángel Yunes Linares declared that material losses were minor.

Those included several highways blocked by mudslides that cut off all land transportation in 63 communities. One of those was Mariano Escobedo in the Zongolica sierra where a river tore a bridge apart, stranding over 13,000 people.

Over 400 hectares of banana and corn plantations were damaged by strong winds, while close to 1,000 people were evacuated and moved to state-run shelters as a preventative measure.

A state of emergency has been declared in 70 municipalities. Emergency aid packages containing water, food, sleeping mats, blankets, medical kits and construction materials — the latter to carry out temporary repairs to damaged homes — have been dispatched by the national disaster relief fund Fonden.

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In Puebla, 1,562 people were evacuated to shelters, while flooding, damaged homes and mudslides affecting roads were reported in 21 municipalities.

Only 126 people were evacuated in the state of Hidalgo, were some fallen trees and mudslides were reported. Tamaulipas was only affected by flooding, while Oaxaca has reported damages to farmland in two municipalities.

Close to 370,000 residents of Veracruz, Puebla and Tamaulipas, Hidalgo and San Luis Potosí were affected by power cuts, although by early yesterday evening service had been restored to over 75% of them.

Franklin made its first landfall Monday in Quintana Roo. There were no casualties reported there either, and damage was light.

Source: El Universal (sp), Milenio (sp)

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