Torrential rain hits Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula

Quintana Roo state declares state of emergency after the region was hit by unseasonable downpours.

The bulk of the region's rain tends to fall during the summer and early autumn [EPA]
The bulk of the region's rain tends to fall during the summer and early autumn [EPA]

Persistent heavy rain has caused flooding across Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, leading to the governor of Quintana Roo state declaring a state of emergency.

On Monday, 106mm of rain fell in the state capital, Chetumal. More than 100 homes were flooded and residents have been given temporary shelter. Television images have shown people wading through waist-deep water within the city.

The state of emergency would allow access to funds to repair damaged infrastructure. It is estimated that at least $1.9m would be required for this purpose.

Heavy rain at this time of the year is unusual. The bulk of the rain tends to fall during the summer and early autumn.

Merida, in the northern part of the Yucatan Peninsula typically receives 100mm through the entire month of October.

In recent days other parts of the region have been hit by exceptional rain. On Sunday, 149mm of rain fell in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz.

Near the border with Guatemala, Tapachula received 150mm of rain on Saturday.

The weather is likely to remain wet in the coming days, with an area of low pressure moving across the Peninsula and into the Gulf of Mexico.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Patricia is continuing to develop off the Pacific coast, south of Salina Cruz. Patricia’s further development is favoured by low wind shear (a change in wind speed and direction with height which tends to disrupt storm development).

There is also a great deal of moisture in the middle levels of the atmosphere, as well as very warm surface waters, around 30C.

Patricia is likely to attain hurricane status by Friday, before making landfall as a Category 2 system, near Manzanillo, during the early hours of Saturday (GMT).

Damaging winds, and flooding rain are expected, and mudslides and coastal erosion.

Source : Al Jazeera


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