Hurricane Raymond Prompts Evacuations In Mexico

Hurricane Raymond threatened Mexico’s western coast on Monday and Tuesday, prompting evacuations just weeks after Tropical Storms Ingrid and Manuel devastated portions of the country.

Raymond remained a category 3 hurricane on Tuesday as it hovered about 90 miles off the coast. Miami’s National Hurricane Center announced that the storm was moving in “a slow and erratic motion” with wind gusts up to 120 miles per hour on Monday.

Yahoo! News reports that Felipe Puente, head of Mexico’s national emergency services, explained during a news conference, “It’s not going to move much in the next 24 to 48 hours.”

The NHC believes Raymond could move closer to the coast before it turns to the west on Wednesday. The news wasn’t helpful for coastal residents, who were being pelted with rain in areas where many roads were washed out by last month’s hurricanes. Acapulco’s beaches were almost deserted on Monday.

As Hurricane Raymond flirted with Mexico’s coast, Mexican authorities rushed to deploy emergency crews and considered an evacuation for low-lying areas that were facing rain again, notes NBC News. About 10,000 people are still living away from their homes because of Manuel.

David Korenfeld, head of Mexico’s National Water Commission, explained that officials hope a cold front sweeping in will turn Raymond back out to sea. He stated, “The cold front coming down is what makes it turn to the left, but that is a model.” Should the cold front come in slower than expected, Raymond could come closer to the coast.

In anticipation of the storm, schools in Acapulco, Lazaro Cardenas, and other parts of the southwestern coast closed. The port in Lazaro Cardena also closed. The NHC warned of possible life-threatening flash floods and mud slides.

The storms have hit Acapulco particularly hard, as the city relies mainly on tourism to get by. With beaches deserted and hotels nearly empty, residents in the resort town don’t know when they will get their main source of income back. They are hoping Hurricane Raymond doesn’t cause additional damage to their town.

[Image via NOAA]