Fri | Dec 4, 2020

Hurricane Delta makes landfall in Mexico, toppling trees

Published:Wednesday | October 7, 2020 | 9:28 AM
Firemen remove a tree toppled by Hurricane Delta in Cancun, Mexico, early Wednesday, October 7, 2020. Hurricane Delta made landfall Wednesday just south of the Mexican resort of Cancun as a Category 2 storm, downing trees and knocking out power to some resorts along the northeastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. (AP Photo/Victor Ruiz Garcia)

CANCUN, Mexico (AP) — Hurricane Delta made landfall Wednesday just south of the Mexican resort of Cancun as an extremely dangerous Category 2 storm, downing trees and knocking out power along the northeastern coast of Yucatan Peninsula, but without immediate reports of deaths or injuries.

The US National Hurricane Center in Miami said satellite imagery, radar data from Cuba and surface observations in Mexico indicate that the center of Delta came ashore around 5:30 a.m. local time, sustaining top winds of 110 miles per hour.

Civil defence official Luís Alberto Ortega Vázquez said there were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries, but Delta had toppled about 95 trees and knocked out electricity to parts of Cancun and Cozumel.

Ortega said about 39,000 people had been evacuated in the states of Quintana Roo and Yucatan, and that about 2,700 people had taken refuge in storm shelters in the two states.

Quintana Roo Governor Carlos Joaquín said Wednesday morning that power had been knocked out to about half of customers in Cancun, Cozumel and Playa del Carmen. There were reports of some flooding in Cozumel and Playa del Carmen. Overnight emergency calls came in from people whose windows or doors were broken and they were taken to shelters, he said.

Joaquín said that within a couple of hours hotels that did not suffer serious damage could hopefully begin to bring their guests back from shelters. The storm was still over much of the state, but he said state officials would soon be evaluating damage.

Early Wednesday, guests of the Fiesta Americana Condesa hotel awoke in the sweltering classrooms of the Technological Institute of Cancun campus where they had been moved Tuesday.

Delta had increased in strength by 80 mph in just 24 hours, and its top winds peaked at 145 miles per hour before it weakened as it neared the shore.

Forecasters warned it was still an extremely dangerous storm nevertheless, with a life-threatening storm surge that could raise water levels 9 to 13 feet , along with large and dangerous waves and flash flooding inland.

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