Grace left at least eight dead, including several minors, in the state of Veracruz, Mexico, this Saturday when it made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane.
Among the victims are a mother and her five children –Including a 15-day-old baby– who died when a landslide caused by the storm reached their home in the Loma Bonita neighborhood, in Xalapa, the capital of Veracruz. The family was sleeping.
“They were buried,” Abraham Moreno Ortiz, the children’s father, told the media. He indicated that one of the minors, aged 7, survived but is hospitalized.
Also in Xalapa, another girl died when a hillside collapsed on her house. In addition, an elderly person died on Friday night when a structure fell on him in the town of Poza Rica.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said he regretted Grace’s balance and asked to protect citizens in other states where Grace will pass this weekend.
Mi pésame a los familiares de niños y adultos que fallecieron por el huracán en Xalapa y otros lugares de Veracruz. No están solos. Cuentan con Cuitláhuac y todos nosotros.
— Andrés Manuel (@lopezobrador_) August 21, 2021
Grace first made an impact on the Yucatan Peninsula this week as a category 1 hurricane, where residents and tourists had to shelter for hours in areas such as Tulum, a Mayan archaeological area.
The meteorological phenomenon then returned as a category 3 (more serious) hurricane towards Veracruz, a state further north on the Gulf of Mexico. Now how Tropical cyclone Grace heads through central Mexico, where the capital is, on the way to Tamaulipas, a border state with the United States.
The Mexico City International Airport reported that due to the passage of the hurricane, between Friday and Saturday several flights were canceled that connect Veracruz, Tampico, Reynosa, Culiacán, Huatulco and the city of Miami, in the United States.
In Veracruz, in addition to the human balance, there were destroyed houses and looted businesses.
“Yes we are very afraid, because other times it has hit [algún huracán o tormenta]but not like he did this time“María Elena Ordóñez told Noticias Telemundo. The roof of her house collapsed.
According to the governor of Veracruz, Cuitláhuac García Jiménez, the greatest impact of the hurricane occurred in the towns of Poza Rica, Cazones de Herrera and Tecolutla, where the winds reached a speed of 195 kilometers per hour (approximately 121 miles per hour).
“There we are going to focus the initial support that we will direct to the population,” the governor said at a press conference shortly after noon (local time) on Saturday.
Initially, the governor reported that three other people were missing, but shortly after the Ministry of Public Security reported that they were found alive by the neighbors.
Pictures show darkened neighborhoods, trees on the ground and flooded streets in towns like Tecolutla and Xalapa. There are also reports of victims as a result of the destroyed houses.
Grace is one of the most powerful storms to hit the Mexican Gulf Coast in years. It recorded maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour (201 km per hour) and caused power outages and structural damage.
The Secretary of Public Security of Veracruz, Hugo Gutiérrez Maldonado, assured that the state remained on red alert even though Grace had demoted by mid-morning on Saturday. The secretary shared images of flooded streets in the city of Xalapa, the capital of Veracruz.
According to the correspondent of Noticias Telemundo Víctot Silva, 22 municipalities of Veracruz are in a state of emergency for the damage done by Grace.
With information from agencies