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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

After landfall, Roslyn moves inland in Mexico as a tropical storm

Hurricane Roslyn flooded streets in Puerto Vallarta, in Jalisco State in Mexico, on Sunday.

By Amanda Holpuch

Hurricane Roslyn brought damaging winds and storm surge to west-central Mexico on Sunday and killed at least two people before being downgraded to a tropical storm, officials said. The storm, which had moved inland, was expected to dissipate by Sunday night or early Monday after bringing heavy rains and flash flooding.

There were reports of damage in the state of Nayarit, where the storm made landfall early Sunday. Nearly 100,000 people had lost power across the country, and residents of some affected communities faced road blockages from fallen trees or mud, as authorities worked to make necessary repairs and survey any further damages.

Jorge Benito Rodríguez Martínez, secretary of security in Nayarit, confirmed the death of a 39-year-old woman, Ana Pimentel Moreno, from the Rosamorada municipality. She was killed when her house collapsed.

He added that there had been rescues of people trapped in homes.

In the municipalities of San Blas and Santiago Ixcuintla, which faced some of the greatest effects, some 90% of residents were displaced in shelters or staying with relatives in higher areas, he said.

The mayor of Santiago Ixcuintla, Eduardo Lugo, confirmed the death of another person, identified as Gilberto Hernández Rodríguez, a resident of the island of Mexcaltitán. He was 80 years old. A wall in his home had collapsed.

Local officials reported that in the town of Sayulita, in Bahía de Banderas, a bay on the coast of Nayarit, a 35-year-old woman and an 85-year-old woman with mobility problems were rescued and taken to a temporary shelter after the rising river had trapped them. In northern Nayarit, the mayor of Acaponeta, Manuel Salcedo Osuna, reported extensive damage to houses and utility poles and fallen trees and other debris. He pleaded with residents on his Facebook page to go to a shelter if their houses were unstable in any way.

Mexico’s federal electricity commission said that some 99,580 people were without electricity as of Sunday afternoon.

Roslyn dropped to a Category 3 hurricane, from a Category 4 before it made landfall, and it was expected to weaken as it moved farther inland, according to the National Hurricane Center. As of 5 p.m. Eastern time Sunday, the storm was about 75 miles east of the city of Durango, Mexico, moving northeast and heading inland over northern Nayarit at a speed of about 21 mph. Maximum sustained winds dropped to 45 mph, with higher gusts, the agency said.

Tropical storm conditions were felt through parts of west-central Mexico throughout Sunday. The storm is expected to become a tropical depression Sunday evening and dissipate overnight or early Monday.

The government of Mexico discontinued all coastal warnings.

The governor of the state of Jalisco, Enrique Alfaro, said on Twitter on Sunday that schools would reopen and hold classes and activities Monday. Puerto Vallarta’s airport resumed operations, he added, but beaches would remain closed.

In southern Durango, Sinaloa, Jalisco, Nayarit and Zacatecas, rainfall of 1 to 3 inches was expected, with a maximum rainfall total of 10 inches.

Landslides could be caused by the rain in rugged terrain areas, forecasters warned. Water levels, which rose from the storm surge, were expected to subside Sunday afternoon, forecasters said. Swells generated by Roslyn were likely to affect the southwestern Mexico, west-central Mexico and the southern part of the Baja California peninsula through Sunday night.

These swells were likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip-current conditions.

The links between hurricanes and climate change have become clearer with each passing year. Data shows that hurricanes have become stronger worldwide during the past four decades. A warming planet can expect stronger hurricanes over time and a higher incidence of the most powerful storms, though the overall number of storms could drop because factors like stronger wind shear could keep weaker storms from forming.

Hurricanes are also becoming wetter because of more water vapor in the warmer atmosphere. Scientists have suggested that storms like Hurricane Harvey in 2017 produced far more rain than they would have without the human effects on climate. Also, rising sea levels are contributing to higher storm surge, the most destructive element of tropical cyclones.

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