Hurricane Grace hit the Caribbean coast of Mexico on Thursday, a few kilometers south of the ancient Mayan temples of Tulum. leaving some houses homeless, thousands of people without power and keeping tourists off the white sand beaches and crystal clear waters.
Category 1 storm had already left torrential rains as it passes through Haiti, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands before heading for a direct impact with the Riviera Maya, the heart of the Mexican tourism industry.
Grace’s vortex made landfall south of Tulum at 4:45 a.m., Central Mexico time, with maximum sustained winds of 130 km / h (80 mph), according to the US National Hurricane Center.
As she entered the Yucatan Peninsula, Grace weakened A tropical storm Thursday afternoon with maximum winds of 85 km / h (50 mph).
Trees fallen during the passage of Hurricane Grace, in Tulum, Quintana Roo state (Mexico). Photo EFe
The meteor, however, was about to leave the mainland and head to the Gulf of Mexico, where presumably it will recover the category of hurricane. Its center was located about 85 kilometers (50 miles) northeast of Campeche and was moving west at 24 km / h (15 mph).
Meteorologists indicated that it is possible that the meteor will hit the Mexican coast in the center of the Gulf again with hurricane force, around Friday night or early Saturday.
In Tulum, some families passed hours of anguish sheltering from fallen trees and debris.
Around 2 a.m. on Thursday, while Grace’s eye was located on the coast, Carlos González took his 18-month-old son and ran out of his house with his wife to go to a public school set up as a shelter. The light from her cell phone helped them make their way through the dark streets.
With what is on
“All I have left is what I’m wearing,” said the 35-year-old bricklayer.‘I knew that my house would not bear because it was cardboard. When the wind came I was very scared and I preferred to go out. ”
Miguel Ángel García decided to stay. On Thursday he used a machete to cut the trunk of a tree that fell on the roof of his house.
Light poles downed during Hurricane Grace. Photo EFE
“The wind came up and they told us to go to school, but they didn’t give us time because the trees were already coming,” said the 33-year-old waiter. “We prefer to stay and not go out on the street and let it be what God wants. ”
Many streets remained blocked by branches and downed trees that toppled power lines, leaving thousands of people without power.
Most businesses remained closed, and the few that opened saw long lines of residents waiting to buy tortillas and other foods.
The governor of Quintana Roo, Carlos Joaquín, said that the storm had left without power supply about 84,000 people in Cancun and another 65,000 in Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Puerto Aventura and Tulum. The official indicated that so far there are no reports of fatalities.
Cancun International Airport resumed operations Thursday afternoon.
A lane of the highway that connects Playa del Carmen with Tulum got blocked for a falling traffic sign. A gas station was destroyed after a huge canopy fell and crushed two vehicles.
State authorities said that, as of last week, the region was home to about 130,000 tourists and that hotels were more than half full despite the coronavirus pandemic.