Mexico's Worst Hurricanes

The same as a steam engine, which has hot and humid air, sun rays play their role by heating the oceans’ water, then humid air heats up, expands and starts to elevate like a hot air balloon. More humid air substitutes the hot air and starts the process resulting in high pressure and formation of high speed winds.

Mexico has been devastated throughout its history by these formations, which reach different categories, depending on the strength of their winds from 73 mph (category 1) to 155 mph (category 5).

Hurricane Wilma was one of the most destructive to ever touch Mexican coasts, in October 2005. Wilma touched land on several occasions, leaving marks of its effects in the Peninsula of Yucatan. The eye of the storm passed through the island of Cozumel and made contact with Playa del Carmen in Campeche. The losses were immeasurable by affecting tourism, agriculture and economic activities in general; the calculated costs of the damages are around 1.8 billion dollars.

Hurricane Gilberto reached land on the 14th of September 1988, at the Peninsula of Yucatan, registered as a category 5 hurricane. It caused floods along the country’s northeast and 202 deaths. The eye of the storm reached 9.3 miles in diameter and its area of influence was 155 miles, simultaneously attacking Cuba. It continued its path towards the Gulf, affecting Campeche and disappearing in Monterrey, causing the overflow of Rio Santa Catarina, which crosses the capital of Nuevo Leon, leaving losses for 880 million pesos.

Hurricane Erika disastrously impacted Mexico’s northeast in 2003. 51 oil rigs had to be evacuated, which meant the loss of 8,708 barrels of oil per day and 173,140 million cubic feet of natural gas each day. Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas were the main places Erika devastated.

In the year 2005, Hurricane Ismael appeared. It produced waves 29.5 feet in height on Mexican coasts, causing the destruction of 52 boats with serious damages, killing 57 fishermen. On its path through Mexico’s northeast, the strong rains left behind by the hurricane reached 7.8 inches in the State of Sinaloa, causing floods in 4 municipalities, the destruction of 373 houses and damaging 4790; 54 persons lost their life. At Los Mochis, winds destroyed houses and telephone poles. In Sonora, Ismael left 10.8 inches of rain, gravely affecting Huatabampo and 24,111 persons located in 8 municipalities, destroying 4728 houses, 107 schools and two hospitals. It destroyed high tension lines, affecting 1344 square miles. Damages in Sonora were estimated at 8.6 million dollars.

Hurricane Stan came in 2005, overflowing River Tapachula in Chiapas, causing the devastation of 2,500 houses; most of the inhabitants of Sierra de los Tuxtlas had to be evacuated. When its passing increased towards Sierra Madre del Sur, the States of Oaxaca and Chiapas were significantly affected.

Artículo Producido por el Equipo Editorial Explorando México.
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