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Passing of cold front leaves many Riviera Maya beaches with sargassum

Riviera Maya, Q.R. — After the weekend passing of cold front 38, numerous Riviera Maya beaches found themselves knee deep in seaweed. Several days of high winds left some of the coastal areas covered in sargassum.

According to the Quintana Roo Sargassum Monitoring Network, while Isla Mujeres and Cozumel remain sargassum-free, Holbox and at least two Playa del Carmen beaches were slammed. The Network reported Punta Esmeralda and Playa del Recodo have recorded a mass arrival of seaweed on its beaches.

The sargassum situation around the state continually changes day-to-day and in some instances, even within hours, depending on the direction and speed of the wind, explained Esteban Amaro, head of the Quintana Roo Sargassum Monitoring Network.

He says in the northern part of the state there are 80 monitoring points from the coast of Holbox, in the municipality of Lázaro Cárdenas, to Boca Paila, in the municipality of Tulum.

On Sunday, after the passing of the front, a mass arrival of sargassum was reported in the center of Holbox, as well as in Punta Esmeralda and Playa del Recodo, in Playa del Carmen.

Ten other beaches recorded an abundant amount of seaweed, while on 31 beaches, the amounts being recorded are still very low. He says there are still eight beaches around the state that are sargassum free.

Beaches of Chiquilá, Playa Centro and Punta Sur of Isla Mujeres, Isla Contoy as well as Chankanaab, Playa Mía, El Cielo and Punta Sur at Cozumel are recording either zero or very little seaweed.

On Sunday morning, manual cleaning began on beach areas of Akumal Bay by private businesses.

The Secretariat of the Navy (Semar), who are in charge of the state’s sargassum maintenance, reported having 12 sargassum collection vessels along with the placement of at-sea barriers.

Semar says six of those vessels left Chetumal Saturday after undergoing maintenance at the Chetumal Repair Center Number 11 (CENREPCHET-11). Sargassum vessel Natans remains dry docked while in its final stages of major maintenance at the Number Three Marine Shipyard in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz.

The Natans is scheduled to arrive in Riviera Maya the third week of April. They say the vessels will be distributed among the affected municipalities.