Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Hurricane Nora leaves trail of damage in six states; 1 person dead in Jalisco

Hurricane Nora brought heavy rain and flooding to six states over the weekend and claimed at least one life in Jalisco after making landfall in that state on Saturday.

Downgraded to a tropical storm on Sunday, Nora lashed the Jalisco coast as a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 130 kmh and gusts to 155. After making landfall in Jalisco the storm continued north to Nayarit and Sinaloa.

The United States National Hurricane Center said early Monday that Nora had dissipated but heavy rains from its remnants were expected to continue to spread northward and north-northwestward during the next couple of days. At 4:00 a.m. Monday, what remained of the storm system was about 105 kilometers southeast of Los Mochis, Sinaloa.

Some of Nora’s worst damage occurred in Puerto Vallarta, where a 13-year-old boy died and at least one other person was missing.

Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro reported Sunday that the teenager, identified as Curro Prados Asencio, died due to the partial collapse of a downtown Puerto Vallarta hotel that was affected by the flooded Cuale River. Three other members of the boy’s family were in the hotel when it collapsed but were rescued.

Floodwaters in Puerto Vallarta after Hurricane Nora passed through the area on Saturday.

“[We extend] our support and deepest condolences to his family, who arrived at our port from Spain seven years ago, and his loved ones,” Alfaro wrote on Twitter.

The flooding of the Cuale River was the worst in 50 years, the newspaper El Universal reported, and affected practically the entire downtown area of Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco’s premier tourist destination. A vehicle in which a woman was traveling was swept away by the floodwaters and its occupant presumably drowned. Authorities mounted a search mission but as of late Sunday the woman hadn’t been located.

The Pitillal River also broke its banks in Puerto Vallarta, with floodwaters sweeping away at least three homes and causing damage to countless others. Residents of the Río Pitillal neighborhood were evacuated and taken to a temporary shelter.

Nora also caused a landslide on state highway 429, Jalisco authorities reported. Two men were reported missing after the event while a third man was rescued by Civil Protection authorities and the army. Some roads in Jalisco, and in other states, were cut off due to flooding, fallen trees and landslides.

In Cihuatlán, a southern Jalisco municipality on the border with Colima, about 500 homes were affected by floodwaters after the El Pedregal arroyo overflowed.

Other states where heavy rain and/or flooding was reported were Nayarit, Colima, Sinaloa, Michoacán and Guerrero. There was also heavy surf on the coastlines of those states and six fishermen remained missing off the coast of Guerrero late Sunday.

Rescue workers at a hotel that collapsed in Puerto Vallarta.
Rescue workers at a hotel that collapsed in Puerto Vallarta.

Access to the airport in Manzanillo was cut off as were several other roads in Colima. The Sinaloa municipalities of Elota and Escuinapa were among the worst affected by the storm, and shelters were set up for residents in each location.

The ports of Mazatlán, San Blas and Puerto Vallarta were temporarily closed due to the passing of Nora, which lashed the Pacific coast just a week after Hurricane Grace wreaked havoc in Veracruz. More than 260,000 electricity customers in Jalisco, Nayarit, Colima and Michoacán lost power but service had been restored to 78% of them by Sunday, the Federal Electricity Commission said.

Northwestern states including Baja California Sur, Sonora and Durango are expected to receive heavy rainfall as the remnants of Nora continue to head north.

With reports from El Universal, El Economista, Puerto Vallarta News TV and Reforma 

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