Hurricane Zeta Slams Into Mexico’s Caribbean Coast
MEXICO CITY — Hurricane Zeta brought strong winds and heavy rains to Mexico’s Caribbean coast before weakening to a tropical storm today and heading towards the United States.
There were no reports of deaths or significant damage after Zeta made landfall near the resort town of Tulum late Monday, the second hurricane to hit the Yucatan Peninsula this month.
Zeta had strengthened in the Caribbean from a tropical storm into a Category 1 hurricane — the weakest on a scale of five — packing maximum sustained winds of 80 miles per hour.
Authorities in the southeastern state of Quintana Roo ordered the suspension of work activities and shipping in the affected areas and opened shelters for people who felt unsafe at home.
“It will have an impact on almost the entire state,” Quintana Roo governor Carlos Joaquin said in a video posted on social media.
In the resort city of Cancun, residents had stocked up on groceries as well as wood and tape to cover their windows, while motorists lined up to buy gasoline.
“It’s better to be prepared because with Wilma (a Category 5 hurricane that hit in 2005) we suffered a lot with no water, electricity or anything to eat,” said Cancun resident Lucia Castro.
Zeta was expected to bring a “dangerous storm surge” and possible flooding, the NHC warned.
The storm is likely to weaken as it moves over land before strengthening again over the Gulf of Mexico as it approaches the northern Gulf Coast of the United States, it forecast.
On October 7, Hurricane Delta hit the Yucatan Peninsula as a Category 2 storm, toppling trees and ripping down power lines, but without causing any deaths.
Thousands of tourists were forced to spend the night in emergency shelters along the Riviera Maya coastline.
Zeta is the 28th storm of an unusually active Atlantic hurricane season.
In September, meteorologists were forced to use the Greek alphabet to name Atlantic storms for only the second time ever, after the 2020 hurricane season blew through their usual list, ending on Tropical Storm Wilfred.