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Fallen palm creates huge mess in Parque Hidalgo

Incident underscores growing preference for native trees that can stand up to local conditions

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Parque Hidalgo is a mess after days of rain caused a palm tree to topple. Photo: Whatsapp

Merida, Yucatan — Strong winds took down more large trees, including a large palm that crashed down, damaging other trees, some benches, and a light pole.

On social media, residents complained that palm trees shouldn’t have been planted there in the first place.

The fallen palm created a mess in front of the Teatro Fantasio, at Parque Hidalgo, the city’s oldest park at 202 years. No injuries were reported, although one commenter marveled that she had just that morning walked where the tree landed.

A native almendo tree crushed by the palm may survive its injuries, onlookers said.

On Hoja Verde’s Facebook page, other commenters suggested a petition to the city hall should demand that no more palm trees, which are not native to Yucatan, should be planted in public parks and gardens.

Indeed, the municipality has favored native species over palms for the last several years. Reforesting efforts have increased the population of a very specific list of trees.

{ Related: Trees in Merida are sick after years of poor planning, maintenance }

Previously, a few blocks north on Calle 60, a large beloved rain tree toppled after being weakened by heavy rains. Fifty large trees have fallen across Yucatan in the last several days, according to the state’s civil protection agency.

Two consecutive days of rain have also caught up with the city’s overwhelmed drainage system. Flooding has bedeviled drivers and pedestrians.

While June was relatively dry for Yucatan’s “rainy season,” July has proved much stormier.

Rains is expected to continue Wednesday and Thursday in the center and northeast of Yucatan.

With information from Sipse.

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