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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Hurricane Delta: What we know right now

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As Hurricane Delta strengthens in the Caribbean and prepares to barrel into the Yucatan Peninsula, Quintana Roo has the most to worry about. But the state of Yucatan isn’t out of danger. Here is what we know so far:

Some coastal areas are being evacuated. Governor Mauricio Vila announced that coastal residents in the easternmost part of the state — El Cuyo, Las Coloradas, Rio Lagartos and San Felipe — were being directed to shelters. Dzilam de Bravo and Telchac Puerto are on standby. Progreso to Dzilam is under a tropical storm warning.

Northeast Yucatan is under red alert, the highest state of caution because it is directly in the projected path of Delta, which was declared a Category 4 hurricane and will hit the Peninsula’s northern Caribbean coast Wednesday morning.

Source: Yucatan civil protection unit

Merida, Progreso and the rest of western Yucatan remained under the lowest-level alert, although residents still jammed supermarkets and delivery services to stock their kitchens. Moderate-to-high winds already have knocked out power in some neighborhoods. Most businesses are closing at 6, but pharmacies and supermarkets will remain open until 10.

The center of the state, including Valladolid, Peto and Chemax, is a high-alert zone. Most businesses were ordered to close at 4, but pharmacies and supermarkets were allowed to stay open until 8 p.m.

Classes in public schools were canceled across the state until further notice.

Delta’s rapid intensification — from 40 mph winds to 110 mph in 24 hours — is the most an October Atlantic named storm has intensified since Hurricane Wilma in 2005.

Delta is forecast to move over the southern Gulf of Mexico by Wednesday afternoon and be over the southern or central Gulf of Mexico through Thursday.

A false rumor spread rapidly on social media that CFE, the electricity utility, is cutting power to customers at 9 p.m., which would be one hour before pharmacies and supermarkets. The state civil protection unit posted on Twitter that the news is untrue. (A 9 p.m. power cut is planned, however, in Quintana Roo.) The CFE División Peninsular, however, announced that 650 electricians, 113 cranes, 181 vehicles, one helicopter, 28 emergency plants and seven lighting towers are at strategic points to address inevitable power outages.

This post will be updated as news develops.

Related: Preparing for 2020’s hurricanes in Yucatan

Related: Remembering Hurricane Gilberto

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