Hurricane Grace pummeled Mexico with torrential rain on Saturday, causing severe flooding and mudslides that killed at least eight people after becoming one of the most powerful storms in years to hit the country’s Gulf coast.
Grace was blowing maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour (201 km per hour), a Category 3 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, when it slammed into the coast near the resort of Tecolutla in Veracruz state in the early morning.
The state government said eight people were killed, including six from a single family. All but one of the victims died in Xalapa, the state capital, including a young girl killed by a mudslide that hit her home, the government said.
An adult was killed by a collapsed roof in the city of Poza Rica further north in the state, Veracruz Governor Cuitlahuac Garcia told a news conference.
“The state of emergency has not ended,” he added.
Local television showed severe flooding in Xalapa, with coffins from a local business floating down a waterlogged street. The nearby River Actopan burst its banks, shutting down a local highway, state authorities said.
Ericka Herrera, a homemaker in Tecolutla, was in tears as she described the destruction.
“Not of this magnitude that just wrecks everything,” she said. “It’s really sad. Things are really bad.”
Grace smashed windows, downed trees, power cables and telegraph poles, leaving debris strewn around Tecolutla, though there were no human casualties, local authorities said.
Images from Veracruz posted on social media showed damage to buildings and submerged cars.
Garcia said several rivers in Veracruz would flood, and urged the local population to take cover.
Television footage also showed flooding in Ciudad Madero in the southern reaches of the state of Tamaulipas near the border of Veracruz. Mexican state oil firm Petroleos Mexicanos’ (Pemex) Francisco Madero refinery is in Ciudad Madero.
Mexico City’s international airport said some flights were canceled due to the hurricane. The Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) national power utility reported 565,000 electricity users were affected by outages.
Grace weakened quickly as it moved into the mountainous interior, and by 4 p.m. CDT (2100 GMT) it was dissipating in central Mexico, with top winds of 25 mph (35 kph). The center was about 65 miles (105 km) west-northwest of Mexico City, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCPAT2+shtml/211149.shtml
Before Grace hit land, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador urged people in the states of Veracruz, Puebla, San Luis Potosi, Tamaulipas and Hidalgo to get to higher ground or shelters.
Many appear to have heeded the call.
The NHC forecast Grace would dump 6 to 12 inches (15-30 cm) of rain over eastern and central Mexico through Sunday and up to 18 inches (45 cm) in some areas. The heavy rainfall will likely cause areas of flash and urban flooding, it said.
Veracruz and its waters are home to several oil installations, including Pemex’s port in Coatzacoalcos and its Lazaro Cardenas refinery in Minatitlan in the south. Grace hit land well to the north of these cities.
Earlier in the week, Grace pounded Mexico’s Caribbean coast, downing trees and resulting in power outages for nearly 700,000 people, but without causing loss of life, authorities said.
It also doused Jamaica and Haiti, still reeling from a 7.2 magnitude earthquake, with torrential rain.
Courtesy of usnews.com
Heavy snowfalls have buried Moscow in massive snow piles, disrupting transport, delaying flights and making it tough to get around for pedestrians braving strong winds and temperatures of minus 15 Celsius (5 Fahrenheit).
The snowfall started late on Thursday and was expected to end on Sunday. Russia’s emergency service advised people to stay away from trees, warning of winds gusts of 18 metres per second (40 mph). “It’s a real snowstorm, a snow Armageddon, a snow apocalypse. This is not a practice alert, but a combat alert,” Evgeny Tishkovets from the weather service Fobos was quoted by RIA news agency as saying before the snowfall began.
By early Saturday, snow depth in the city reached 56 centimetres (22 inches), Fobos said. This was close to exceeding a record high of 60 cm for accumulated snow on a Feb. 13, it said.
On Friday Moscow saw record snowfall for a Feb. 12, breaking the previous record set for the date in 1973, Russian news agencies reported citing the national meteorological service.
There have been multiple flight delays at the airports in Moscow, a city of more than 12 million people. Unusually for a weekend, traffic was jammed in many places.
Around 60,000 people were working to clear the streets, the Moscow mayor’s office said.
Courtesy of reuters.com
Residents on the Sunshine Coast are cleaning up this morning after a short but severe storm tore through some suburbs, bringing trees down onto homes and leaving hundreds without power.
A quick burst of heavy rain and strong winds caused dozens of trees to be uprooted in Little Mountain, with gusts of up to 57 kilometres an hour recorded at the Sunshine Coast airport.
The State Emergency Service said they received 58 calls for help overnight, mostly in response to the wild weather in this area.
At the peak of the storm, more than 350 homes and businesses were without power, with dozens still disconnected on Sunday morning as crews worked to restore the system.
The highest rainfall totals were recorded at nearby at Bells Creek, which saw 70 millimetres in the past 24 hours, while Black Mountain, inland from Noosa, received 79 millimetres.
In Caloundra West, a trampoline was lifted and blown across several houses, crashing through fences.
Earlier, in Brisbane, day two of the Gabba Test cricket match was called off early as a storm rolled through the city.
The weather bureau is closely monitoring cyclone Kimi that’s developed off the Cooktown coast.
Meteorologist Harry Clark said the system is expected to bring heavy rain around the already saturated region, which is still recovering from Tropical Cyclone Imogen earlier this month.
A flood watch remains in place for parts of the state’s north.
Some areas that are still recovering from Tropical Cyclone Imogen earlier this month could receive rainfall of up to 200mm in the coming days.
“The flood watch is out for those areas between Cape Flattery and Ingham,” he said.
“It’s really largely because those catchments are very saturated from recent rainfall.
“At this stage, we’re expecting minor to moderate flooding to be possible, and particularly in those areas where flooding has recently occurred.”
Courtesy of abc.net.au