• The San Juan Daily Star

8 dead after Hurricane Grace makes landfall in Mexico

By The New York Times

Hurricane Grace made landfall on the eastern coast of Mexico’s mainland early Saturday, leaving eight dead, and then quickly weakened into a tropical storm, officials said.

At a news conference Saturday afternoon, Cuitláhuac García Jiménez, the governor of Veracruz, told reporters that heavy rainfall in his state resulted in the deaths. No additional details were available.

“We regret that they weren’t able to get out, following the instructions of civil protection,” the governor said.

The National Hurricane Center said the storm made landfall near the resort town of Tecolutla just before 1 a.m., with maximum sustained winds of nearly 125 mph.

After making landfall, Grace weakened and was downgraded to a tropical storm and then dissipated. The remnants of Grace were moving west at about 13 mph.

“Although Grace has dissipated, its remnants will likely move into the eastern North Pacific by Sunday afternoon, where it is likely to develop into a new tropical cyclone next week,” the center said in its final advisory on the system.

The Mexican government allowed all watches and warnings to expire after the system dissipated.

The storm thrashed the Yucatán Peninsula as a hurricane Thursday, bringing strong winds, heavy rain, power failures and hundreds of evacuations. Just days earlier, the same storm had brought flooding to Haiti, hurting recovery efforts after a devastating earthquake struck the country Aug. 14.

The Yucatán Peninsula is no stranger to storms during hurricane season.

Last August, Tropical Storm Marco skimmed the tip of it, and in October, Hurricane Delta and Hurricane Zeta struck the peninsula, knocking out power, felling trees, shattering windows and causing flooding along the Caribbean coast.

The Mexican mainland was preparing for strong winds and pouring rain as the storm moves west.

Earlier this week, the storm brought sharp winds and pelting rain to survivors of Haiti’s 7.2 magnitude earthquake, which killed more than 2,000 people.

Grace’s arrival there intensified the need for help in recovering from the earthquake. Videos circulating on social media showed heavy rain pummeling towns and villages, bringing the risk of flash floods and landslides.

Grace is the seventh named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, following several days of floods and power failures unleashed this week by Fred. That storm made landfall Monday afternoon in the Florida Panhandle and moved inland across the southeast and Mid-Atlantic.

A third Atlantic storm, Henri, formed Monday afternoon as a tropical storm off the East Coast of the United States, becoming the eighth named storm of the hurricane season. It strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane and was expected to make landfall Sunday on Long Island or southern New England.

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