Photo: NOAA VIA AP/PICTURE ALLIANCE/Deutsche Welle
Hurricane Agatha was rapidly strengthening this Sunday (05.29.2022) in the Pacific waters of Mexico as it moved towards the southwestern coast of the country, where it could become a category 3 cyclone, forecast the National Weather Service (SMN).
At 4:00 p.m. local time (11:00 p.m. CET), Agatha had risen to category 2 out of 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, and was located 295 km southwest of Puerto Ángel in Mexico, with maximum sustained winds of 175 km per hour, while advancing to the northeast at 4 km per hour, according to the most recent report from the United States National Hurricane Center (NHC).
The high temperature of the sea off the coast of the southern Mexican states of Oaxaca and Guerrero -above 31 degrees- and the slowness of its movement could push Agatha up to category 3, with winds of 178 to 200 km per hour, he estimated. Alejandra Méndez, general coordinator of the SMN in a videoconference.
“It is forecast that the hurricane will probably make landfall as a category 3 between Puerto Escondido and Huatulco, Oaxaca,” explained the expert, who expects the impact to occur on Monday afternoon.
Agatha is the first hurricane of the season in the Mexican Pacific.
Authorities from the southern states of Oaxaca, Guerrero and Chiapas launched preventive actions since Saturday such as the protection of properties near the coast and calls on the population living in vulnerable areas to take shelter in safe areas, local media reported.
They also closed the ports in Oaxaca and Guerrero and alerted those who sail in the area of influence of the phenomenon to “extreme precautions” due to strong winds and high waves.
In the area of Puerto Escondido and Huatulco, popular destinations among Europeans and Americans who love surfing, 203 temporary shelters were set up, with capacity for 26,800 people, as well as some hotels to shelter 5,240 identified tourists, reported a spokesman for the Civil Protection system. .