Eight people are dead after Hurricane Grace moved over the coast of Veracruz 20 kilometers north of Tecolutla shortly after midnight Friday as a Category 3 hurricane.
Grace made landfall with maximum sustained winds of 205 kmh and gusts to 240.
The state government said Saturday afternoon that seven people died in Xalapa as a result of landslides in the early hours of the morning. Six of the dead were children.
Another fatality occurred in Poza Rica.
The areas worst hit were in Tecolutla and Poza Rica, Governor Cuitláhuac García told a press conference Saturday afternoon.
However, it was unclear how extensive the damage was because areas that took the brunt of hurricane remained cut off.
A man who was able to get word out about the damage said in Poza Rica “everything was destroyed.”
“Water storage tanks went flying, falling to the ground and breaking apart; [there are] fallen billboards, walls, all the electricity wires … are on the ground, broken windows; everything is a mess here, it hit extremely hard and I imagine that in Tecolutla and Zamora and that area it’s the same or worse.”
The Noticias RTV news agency reported highways are blocked and the town’s restaurant zone was completely destroyed.
The National Meteorological Service said Saturday morning that Grace had been downgraded to Category 2 as it made its way westward through Tulancingo, Hidalgo. At 8:04 a.m. CDT it was downgraded to Category 1, becoming a tropical storm some three hours later as it passed near Mexico City.
By 4:00 p.m. the storm had dissipated, although the U.S. National Hurricane Center said its remnants will likely move into the eastern north Pacific by Sunday afternoon and could develop into a new tropical cyclone next week.
But the effects of the hurricane will continue in the form of heavy rain in many states. The National Water Commission warned Saturday afternoon that torrential rains were forecast in Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Puebla, San Luis Potosí and Veracruz.