This weekend, Mexico witnessed an extraordinary phenomenon, which had been recorded on very few occasions. A powerful category three hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale impacted the national territory and crossed the center of the country causing chaos and devastating many communities.
Since it was formed on August 17, Grace has affected several territories. First, it lashed out at the Dominican Republic and Haiti with its tentacles. Then it approached Jamaica, advanced through the sea, and impacted Quintana Roo as a category 1 hurricane, also affecting Yucatán, Campeche and Tabasco.
As the experts predicted, the system entered the Caribbean Sea and started on its way to Veracruz. However, what the authorities did not expect was its rapid strengthening in the Gulf of Mexico. From being a tropical storm, it became in a few hours a powerful and dangerous level three hurricane that hit near Tecolutla, Veracruz in the early hours of Saturday, with maximum sustained winds that reached 205 kilometers per hour.
The powerful cyclone entered the state and left 431,355 users without electricity supply. Among the affected localities, the municipality of Xalapa took the worst part. There, five children between the ages of five months and nine died from a landslide on a hill, in the Brisas del Sedeño neighborhood. The 27-year-old mother also lost her life in the incident.
Aurora Castillo Reyes, sole trustee, reported that the Civil Protection and Municipal Security and Traffic directorates worked on Saturday to rescue the bodies, with the support of neighbors and the National Guard. Now, they are advising and supporting the father of the family and the only child who survived.
“We are supporting from the processing of all the family’s birth certificates, since they were lost. A child was transferred to the Dr. Rafael Lucio Medical Specialties Center for evaluation ”, he said.
In addition, the family’s relocation is being evaluated: “They cannot return to that area of such risk. In fact, the area has already been cordoned off so that they cannot return and they have been helped to remove the most essential items, ”Castillo Reyes explained.
The municipality took charge of covering the costs of the wake, which took place on Saturday afternoon.
The passage of Hurricane Grace also left material damage in Xalapa, especially in the north and the Rio Sedeño area. Through a statement, the City Council reported that the areas where the most damage was recorded were Lomas de San Roque, El Sumidero, April 2, March 21, as well as Rafael Murillo Vidal avenues, Inter-Oceanic Railroad and the Rafael Guízar Circuit.
“Urban Image and Parks and Gardens personnel remove mud, branches and garbage from the roads of strategic points in the city. The Bosques de Xalapa cemetery was slightly affected, which is why the burial service is temporarily suspended, ”said the municipal corporation, led by Hipólito Rodríguez Herrero.
In social networks, users shared shocking videos in which the severe floods that Grace caused in Xalapa can be appreciated. In one of these recordings, it is observed how the access to Plaza Animas was completely flooded by the strong current that descended the road.
This image was also repeated on Avenida Arco Sur, between access to Expert Services and Xalapa 2000. The road was submerged under water. In addition, after the hurricane, another surreal image went viral: several coffins floated through the collapsed streets of the city.
Given the damage caused by the cyclone, the Xalapa City Council requested an emergency declaration to obtain more resources to support affected families and homes.
According to the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), in Veracruz 431,355 users were left without electricity supply. Service has already been restored to 30% of the victims.
In addition, the hurricane left thousands of families without power in other states:
* 35,196 in San Luis Potosí, 93% reset.
* 109,581 in Hidalgo, 27% recovery.
* 224,860 in Puebla, 34% reset.
* 5,371 in Tlaxcala, 81% recovery.
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