New Orleans hosts Ida 16 years after Katrina

A person protects himself from the rains before the arrival of the ‘Ida’ at a train stop in New Orleans. / AFP

Hurricane Nora kills a Spanish minor in the Mexican town of Jalisco

The powerful Hurricane Ida, Category 4 and with winds of up to 240 kilometers per hour, made landfall this Sunday in Louisiana shortly after local noon, exactly 16 years after Katrina devastated that region of the southern United States. “Find the safest environment in your home and stay there until the storm has passed,” tweeted State Governor John Bel Edwards.

Rains and strong winds were already felt since the morning in the deserted streets of New Orleans, in a city full of bricked up windows and houses surrounded by sandbags awaiting this hurricane, which has been classified as “extremely dangerous.” The governor said Ida – which added strength as it approached the mainland through the warm waters of the Gulf – would be one of the biggest storms to hit Louisiana since the 1850s.

By noon this Sunday, some areas of the town of Grand Isle, on a barrier island located south of New Orleans, were already beginning to flood due to rising water levels, according to CNN. Amid urgent warnings of potential catastrophic damage, most residents followed the authorities’ advice to leave the area. And a record number of people flooded the New Orleans exit roads in the days before.

The hurricane was already having its effects inland, with more than 120,000 customers without power as of noon Sunday, according to the site poweroutage.us. And the sea level was already more than a meter and a half above its usual record in several places, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Governor Edwards warned that Ida will be “a major test” for the state’s flood prevention system. And he explained to CNN that an estimated hundreds of thousands of residents have already evacuated. The storm “brings several challenging difficulties for us, with hospitals so full of covid patients,” he said with concern. The southern state, with a low vaccination rate, has been among the hardest hit by the pandemic, registering 2,700 hospitalizations on Saturday.

Dismal anniversary

This Sunday also marked the sixteenth anniversary of Katrina, the devastating hurricane that flooded 80% of New Orleans, leaving 1,800 dead and billions of dollars in damage. “It is very painful to think of another powerful storm with Hurricane ‘Ida’ making landfall on that anniversary,” Edwards had previously said.

The White House noted that federal agencies have deployed more than 2,000 emergency workers to the region – including thirteen urban search and rescue teams – along with food and water supplies, as well as electric generators. Local authorities, the Red Cross and other organizations have prepared dozens of shelters for at least 16,000 people, the White House added.

Ida had previously made landfall on Friday night in western Cuba with category 1, leaving some material damage and power outages, according to the newspaper ‘Granma’.

Dead spanish

In parallel, Hurricane Nora was “very close” to the Mexican Pacific coast on Sunday morning, after hitting the state of Jalisco on Saturday night, where it left material damage. Nora, a category 1 on a scale of 5, causes “heavy rain and flooding,” the NHC said in its latest report.

After the cyclone, the authorities reported this Sunday that a Spanish minor died and a woman is missing. The minor had disappeared when a hotel in the tourist Puerto Vallarta where he was collapsed, the governor of Jalisco, Enrique Alfaro, reported in a statement. After the search operations, “the minor has been found dead,” he added. The family of the boy’s victim has lived in Puerto Vallarta for seven years, he said.

On the other hand, the Civil Protection Unit reported in a statement that “the Cuale and El Pitillal rivers overflowed, resulting in the disappearance of a woman who was dragged with her vehicle.”

The government of Jalisco reported this Sunday that “support efforts have been intensified in the coastal municipalities, mainly in Cihuatlán, where around 500 houses have been affected by the overflow of the El Pedregal stream, in San Patricio, Melaque and Villa Obregón ». In the presence of the meteor, the Mexican Navy Secretariat keeps the ports of Mazatlán (Sinaloa), San Blas (Nayarit) and Puerto Vallarta (Jalisco) closed.

Cyclone Nora degraded to a tropical storm this Sunday near the state of Sinaloa, and continues to cause “heavy rains and floods” in the southeast and west of the country, the United States National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported in its latest report. ). At 18:00 GMT on Sunday, Nora was located 135 km from Mazatlán (Sinaloa) and 300 km from Cabo San Lucas (Baja California Sur). It was moving northwest at 20 km / h, with maximum winds of 110 km / h, the NHC detailed. It will continue to move “in parallel and very close to the coast of Mexico” for the next few days, he noted.

The cyclone became a hurricane early Saturday morning and made landfall as a category 1 on the Saffir-Simpson scale (of 5) at night in the vicinity of Tomatlán, Jalisco.

Last weekend another hurricane, Grace, impacted Veracruz (east) as category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson scale and caused the death of at least eleven people in that state and its neighbor, Puebla (center).

The government of Jalisco reported this Sunday that “support efforts in coastal municipalities have intensified.” The meteor will continue to move “very close and roughly parallel to the coast of Mexico,” added the NHC, which does not rule out that it will turn to the right “inland and dissipate the next day or so.”

Last weekend another hurricane, Grace, hit the Mexican Veracruz (east) as category 3 and caused the death of at least 11 people in that state and its neighbor, Puebla (center).

Scientists have warned of an increase in the number of strong cyclones as the ocean surface warms due to climate change, posing an increasing threat to the world’s coastal communities.

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