Thursday, December 7, 2023

Hurricane Zeta makes landfall in Quintana Roo

Hurricane Zeta was downgraded to a tropical storm as it passed over the northern portion of the Yucatán Peninsula Monday night and Tuesday morning, the second time in 20 days residents of Quintana Roo and Yucatán have braced themselves for a hurricane. 

Zeta made landfall north of Tulum, Quintana Roo, Monday night as a Category 1 hurricane, the National Water Commission said, with maximum sustained winds of 110 kilometers per hour with gusts up to 140.

Torrential rains fell in northern Quintana Roo and eastern Yucatán while Chiapas, Campeche and Tabasco also felt the effects of the storm. 

Before the hurricane hit Yucatán Governor Mauricio Vila ordered businesses to close and residents to stay indoors. Ports were closed to navigation.

Some families in coastal San Felipe and Río Lagartos were evacuated to Panabá and Tizimín to minimize risks. 

In Quintana Roo, Governor Carlos Joaquín González asked residents to remain calm and not buy food in bulk in supermarkets as they did before the arrival of Hurricane Delta less than three weeks ago. 

Businesses were ordered closed as of 2 p.m. Monday in Tulum, Lázaro Cárdenas, Solidaridad, Puerto Morelos, Benito Juárez, Isla Mujeres and Cozumel.

Residents were evacuated in Banco Chinchorro, Othón P. Blanco, Punta Allen, Tulum, María Elena Island and Punta Herrero. 

Tourists were not evacuated but asked to stay in their hotels and avoid beaches, and the Cancún airport remained open.

Power lines and trees were downed by the storm, but no injuries were reported.

Zeta was projected to move out over the Gulf of Mexico where it was expected to regain hurricane force as it moves toward the southern United States, where it is forecast to make landfall on Wednesday. 

Zeta is the 27th named storm of the 2020 hurricane season in the Atlantic, which has seen the second-highest number of storms on record. In 2005 there were 28 named storms, but this year could easily surpass that as the hurricane season officially ends on November 30.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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