Hurricane Grace pummels Mexico leaving eight dead

August 22, 2021

MEXICO CITY — Hurricane Grace pummeled Mexico with torrential rain on Saturday, causing severe flooding and mudslides that killed at least eight people after becoming one of the most powerful storms in years to hit the country's Gulf coast.

Grace was blowing maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour (201 km per hour), a Category 3 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, when it slammed into the coast near the resort of Tecolutla in Veracruz state in the early morning.

Grace smashed windows, downed trees, power cables and telegraph poles, leaving debris strewn around Tecolutla, local authorities said. Mexico's President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador called on residents of particularly affected areas to be vigilant.

Following torrential rain and high winds the area witnessed power cuts and flooding. The deaths and the worst damage occurred in the state of Veracruz, where the storm uprooted trees when it made landfall early on Saturday.

In the state capital, Xalapa, many streets became rivers of mud. The hurricane later weakened to a tropical storm as it moved inland.

However, high winds and downpours were reported to be causing more flooding as Grace travelled north of Mexico City.

The storm brought wind speeds of up to 200 km/h (125mph) when it reached the coast of mainland Mexico. Of the eight people killed, six were members of the same family, state government officials said.

Residents of the coastal town of Tecolutla, in Veracruz state, said the hurricane had been devastating.

"You could just hear the thunder of the falling trees, it sounded very nasty, very horrible," Laura Jacinto said, adding: " I was very scared, I was very scared last night."

Another resident, Adolfo Lopez, said: "The roof... everything is gone, it took everything with it." — Agencies

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