Hurricane Delta caused limited damage after making landfall near Puerto Morelos in Quintana Roo on Wednesday, October 7, before moving over Yucatan state and out into the Gulf of Mexico. The storm weakened from a category 4 to a category 2 hurricane overnight before making landfall near Puerto Morelos, 35km (22 miles) south of Cancun, at around 06:30 (local time) on Wednesday with wind speeds of 177kph (110mph). Around 39,000 residents and tourists had been evacuated from areas along the coast of Quintana Roo, including from the resort cities of Cancun and Playa del Carmen, while 2700 sought refuge in local storm shelters amid forecasts of a 2.1-3.3m (7 to 11ft) storm surge.
The storm weakened further after making landfall and structural damage in major towns and cities in Quintana Roo was reported to be limited. However, at least 100 trees were reported to have been brought down by the storm, blocking a number of major roads and bringing down power lines. Parts of Cancun and Playa del Carmen were reported to have still been without power as of Thursday, October 8.
Hurricane Delta has since moved across Yucatan and out into the Gulf of Mexico, where it is expected to gain strength, becoming a category 3 storm before making landfall in Louisiana on the US Gulf Coast late on Friday, October 9.
Residual disruptions due to storm damage are likely in eastern areas of Quintana Roo and Yucatan in the near term.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from late May through to the end of November, with activity typically peaking in late August and early September. Numerous tropical storms form in the Atlantic Ocean during this period, with most affecting the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the east coast of the United States. Although communities in the region are generally well prepared for adverse weather conditions during the hurricane season, severe storms bring a significant risk of flooding and infrastructural damage.
Organized tropical activity tends to peak in August and September. Storms tend to flood sections of highways and cause dirt-based roads to become temporarily impassable. More organized systems, depending on intensity, can prove catastrophic in terms of tidal surge, wind damage, flooding, and mudslides.
Those in storm-affected areas are advised to anticipate residual travel and business disruptions, monitor developments, and heed any directives issued by local authorities.
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