18.9 C
New York
Friday, May 24, 2024

Storm Norma weakens after dropping heavy rain on Mexico, as Hurricane Tammy makes landfall in Barbuda

Cabo san Lucas, MexicoNormaweakened to become a tropical depression early Monday after strengthening slightly and dumping heavy rain on Sunday as it moved into mainland Mexico, while Hurricane Tammy left the Caribbean island of Barbuda with minor damage.

Once a Category 4 hurricane, Norma came ashore Saturday as a Category 1 near the Pacific resort of Los Cabos at the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula. Tens of thousands were left without power. Norma’s gusts continued to cause damage as the storm moved northeast, crossing the Gulf of California toward the Mexico mainland’s Sinaloa state, where schools were ordered closed Monday.

Shelters were set up in Sinaloa and neighboring Sonora with capacity for nearly 13,000 people.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Monday morning, however, that Norma, spinning inland over Mexico about 60 miles west of Culiacan, was expected to continue deteriorating.

In Los Cabos, fallen trees blocked some streets. But with no major damage, tourists began to emerge, some with the intention of leaving.

“They told us that the air terminal is now open and we want to return to San Diego, since the danger of the hurricane is over,” said Henry Brown, a U.S. citizen waiting for a cab to take him and his wife to the San Jose del Cabo airport, which resumed operations Sunday morning.

“Rainfall from Norma will diminish across northern portions of Sinaloa, northern Durango and southern Chihuahua later today,” the National Hurricane Center said in a 3 a.m. Eastern advisory, adding that “additional isolated totals of 1 to 2 inches are possible, along with isolated flash flooding and mudslides in areas of higher terrain.”

To the north, there was no flying out of La Paz, the capital of Baja California Sur. It was hit with so much rain that the airport remained closed. Streams of water with logs, dirt and garbage crossed many of the highways so many entrances to the city were blocked. Elements of the security forces made rounds looking for people in need of help.

Baja California Sur authorities had not reported any fatalities, but said an Argentine tourist was injured. The main damage was to boats, three of which sank, Morgado said.

The Mexican navy said it has 5.000 marines deployed to attend the states affected by Norma with ships, helicopters, trucks, food, water and first aid.

Meanwhile, Antigua and Barbuda escaped with no reported injuries from Hurricane Tammy. A late and sudden shift spared the Antigua from a direct hit, but left the sister island in line for the system’s full force during the late night hours Saturday.

“To the best of my knowledge, there has been no significant damage. At least we got some rain. It may not be a lot but much needed rain,” a relieved Prime Minister Gaston Browne told The Associated Press.

The hurricane made landfall on the 62-square-mile Barbuda at approximately 9:15 p.m. Saturday, bringing heavy rain and winds as high as 92 mph. The storm knocked down some power lines, triggered an island wideblackout and caused minor damage to a few homes. However, no major infrastructural damage was reported.

At least two families had to be evacuated by a local rescue team, Barbuda’s disaster coordinator, Tessa Webber, told AP.

Tammy hit as the memory and trauma of Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm that razed the island in 2017, remained foremost in the minds of Barbudans.

Antigua fared much better, with only a few broken branches and broken utility lines reported.

Acting electricity manager for the country’s lone utility company, Lyndon Francis, could not yet put a timeline on restoration work in Barbuda and the few communities in Antigua that lost power during the storm. Crews were out assessing the damage, he said.

Tropical Storm Otis formed over the Pacific far from Mexico’s coast, the National Hurricane Center said.

The storm was about 500 miles south-southeast of Acapulco. It was moving at 5 mph north-northwest, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph.

The NHC estimated that Otis would remain a tropical storm while moving closer to Mexico, before weakening to a tropical depression by Friday. But it said “heavy rainfall may impact coastal areas of southern Mexico from Oaxaca to Guerrero later this week.”

Related Articles

Latest Articles