Mexico City, May 30 (EFE).- Hurricane Agatha, a Category 2 storm that formed off Mexico’s Pacific coast, made landfall on Monday in the southern state of Oaxaca, dumping torrential rain in southern and southeastern Mexico, the National Weather Service (SMN) reported.
In a statement, the SMN said: “The center of Hurricane Agatha, Category 2 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, made landfall at the town of La Redonda … Oaxaca state, at approximately 3:30 pm (2030 GMT).”
The SMN added that at 4 pm local time the storm was located 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) west of Puerto Angel, Oaxaca, with maximum sustained winds of 165 kph (102 mph) and gusts up to 205 kph (127 mph) and was moving northeastwards at 13 kph (8 mph).
Agatha, which had been predicted to hit land as a Category 3 storm, is the first hurricane of the Pacific storm season.
After it made landfall, the SMN maintained its forecast for extraordinarily intense rain of more than 250 millimeters (10 inches) in certain parts of Oaxaca, torrential rain (150-250 mm) in Chiapas state, intense rain (75-150 mm) in parts of Guerrero, Tabasco and Veracruz and very heavy rain (50-75 mm) in parts of Campeche, Quintana Roo and Yucatan.
In addition, the entity said that winds would remain at between 140-170 kph and storm surge at six to eight meters (19.7 to 26.2 feet) along the Oaxaca coast, with gusts of 90-110 kph and storm surge of four to six meters on the coasts of Chiapas and Guerrero.
The SMN noted that rainfall could “cause landslides, increase the levels of rivers and streams, and cause overflowing and flooding in low zones,” and thus it urged the public to pay attention to the SMN bulletin and follow the instructions of state and local authorities as well as the Civil Protection agency.
In addition, the entity called for all maritime navigators near the storm system to use extreme caution due to the high winds and waves off the coasts of the states in question.
Earlier, Civil Protection authorities reported that at least 75 towns in Oaxaca had been placed on “maximum alert” pending the imminent arrival of the storm.
“We have a red alert, that is, maximum danger, for 75 municipalities in Oaxaca and an orange alert, high danger, for 294 municipalities, of which 286 are in Oaxaca and eight in Chiapas,” said national Civil Protection coordinator Laura Velazquez at a press conference.
Because of that situation, she said, some 46,000 people had been alerted in Oaxaca, of whom 2,652 are tourists, and 215 temporary shelters with the capacity to house 27,735 people along with 118 medical care facilities had been established in the potential impact zone.
She said that on May 28 instructions had been issued to close the beaches in the area and on May 29 the order was issued to cease all activities in the zone and to close all ports to small watercraft in the towns and cities of Acapulco, Huatulco, Pueto Angel, Puerto Escondido and Puerto Chiapas.
Ten days ago, the SMN reported the formation of up to 40 named tropical phenomena for the 2022 storm season, anticipating that this year will be an “active” season and forecasting that at least five major storms will impact Mexico on either its Atlantic or Pacific coasts.