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State creates operational committee as 2021 hurricane season officially begins

Cancun, Q.R. — An operational committee has been created for the state to deal with the development of storms and hurricanes. As of June 1, the Atlantic Hurricane season officially began. Governor Carlos Joaquín, along with State Council for Civil Protection, installed an Operational Committee for the 2021 tropical cyclone season.

“This committee should be the articulating arm to work with each of the institutions and to attend to any contingency that appears suddenly,” said Joaquin. “We, Quintana Roo, have a culture of prevention, but we need to be prepared with early warning systems, with cities that are resilient to any natural phenomenon,” he said.

During the meeting, Joaquin recalled storms such as Stan, Emily, Wilma and Gilberto as those who caused the most damage to the state, far exceeding damage caused by the previous two hurricanes in October of 2020.

He noted that last June, Tropical Storm Cristóbal caused flooding and runoff in communities of Bacalar, Othón P. Blanco, Felipe Carrillo Puerto, José María Morelos and Lázaro Cárdenas, adding that more than 11,000 families were affected with losses in excess of 200 million peso in crops and livestock.

“The passing of Cristóbal collapsed the rainwater infrastructure, damaged 350 kilometers of roads and bridges,” he explained.

The state coordinator of Civil Protection Adrián Martínez Ortega reported that there are 961 shelters (245 urban, 621 rural and 95 for tourists) with the capacity to serve more than 125,000 people with hygiene protocols and preventive measures.

General CG DEM, José Martín Luna de la Luz who is also part of the newly formed committee, said that he has 650 elements across the state ready to help if necessary.

Last year, the state was hit by one early tropical depression, however, toward the end of the hurricane season, Cancun and Riviera Maya were hit by one tropical storm and two hurricanes within a three week period.

Already this year, before the official start of the season, three named storms have formed. In the Pacific, Tropical Storm Andres was the first to form followed by Ana in the Atlantic, making it the seventh consecutive year the Atlantic Hurricane Season began early. For this reason, the NOAA started Atlantic monitoring on May 15, two weeks earlier than usual.