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Red flags dot Cancun, Riviera Maya beaches as the region waits for Grace

Riviera Maya, Q.R. — The governor of Quintana Roo and the State Council of Civil Protection say for the time being, there are no airport closures, but shelters are ready if necessary.

State governor Carlos Joaquin says that they are following the trajectory of Grace, the tropical storm that is set to make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane. While Grace initially had Cancun in her sights, the storm has changed trajectory and as of Wednesday morning, will likely make landfall south of Tulum.

“At this time, the possible impact is slightly south of Tulum so we will have to be vigilant. At this moment, the storm registers winds of 72 kilometers per hour. To be a hurricane it requires 117 kilometers per hour. It is moving at 21 kilometers per hour towards the west,” explained the governor.

Prevention measures are being carried out in the towns of Punta Herrero, Isla María Elena, Banco Chinchorro and Punta Allen where residents are most vulnerable to high-impact storms.

He says state authorities are are constantly monitoring the tropical storm and that residents will be updated every three to four hours of its behavior and trajectory. He says up until now, the municipalities of Othón P. Blanco and Bacalar are under a low-danger Green Alert and that the municipalities of José María Morelos, Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Tulum, Solidaridad, Cozumel, Puerto Morelos, Isla Mujeres, Benito Juárez and Lázaro Cárdenas are under an Amber or moderate alert.

“We have to check the forecast every 3 to 4 hours to know the various changes in the weather, so we will have to be aware during the early hours of Wednesday to Thursday, very early around between 2 and 5 in the morning, which is when the entry of the storm is expected,” added Joaquin.

The Port Authority of Quintana Roo has said that ferry services will continue normally as long as weather permits. The Authority also said that three cruise ships changed their itineraries due to the anticipated arrival of Grace.

According to Servicio Meteorológico Nacional (SMN) of the Comisión Nacional del Agua (Conagua) at 4:00 a.m. Wednesday, Grace was located 710 kms east-southeast of Tulum and 675 kms east-southeast of Cancun with maximum sustained winds of 100 km/h, gusts of 120 km/h and drift west at 26 km/h.