(Veracruz) Storm Grace became a Category 2 hurricane on Friday as it approached the coast of the state of Veracruz in eastern Mexico, where potentially affected locations were reported on alert.
Posted on Aug 20, 2021 at 9:02 am Updated at 10:18 pm
According to the American Hurricane Monitoring Center (NHC), Grace registered winds of 160 km / h at 12 a.m. GMT (8 p.m. ET) and was 170 km from the port of Veracruz, one of the largest in the world in the Gulf of Mexico.
“Grace has intensified into a Category 2 hurricane and is approaching the north coast of Veracruz,” where “swells of 5 to 7 meters are expected,” Mexico’s National Water Commission said in a statement.
Authorities in Veracruz expect Grace to land overnight between the parishes of Tecolutla and Nautla in the north of the state from Friday to Saturday.
In the port of Veracruz, companies have put boards and guards on windows and doors, while fishermen have protected 300 boats.
“We will spend many days without fishing, almost a week, we are affected like 35,000 fishermen because we cannot go out,” Isabel Pastrana Vázquez, president of the Veracruz Fishing Cooperatives Association, told AFP.
Residents secured their homes after stocking up on canned food and water.
The authorities have set up 200 emergency shelters and are ready to activate 2,000 more if necessary. By late afternoon, most of the streets in Veracruz were closed.
Grace landed near the resort of Tulum on Mexico’s Caribbean coast on Thursday morning as a Category 1 hurricane. The planes were grounded and tourists were forced to spend the night in special accommodations.
The hurricane hit the Yucatan Peninsula without killing anyone, said Carlos Joaquin, governor of Quintana Roo state. He said water and electricity had been returned to the state.
Quintana Roo was put on alert and, according to authorities, had evacuated more than 6,000 tourists and residents to emergency shelters in this sparsely populated area.
In the city of Tulum, where employees cleaned up fallen branches and other debris, there was no major damage to property.
Grace had been demoted to a tropical storm on land, but regained her strength when she returned to sea.