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“The buildings shook and you can’t walk from the amount of trees that have fallen”

The gusts of wind have kept Sabrina Rojas, a resident of Playa del Carmen, in Quintana Roo, awake all night. He has been without electricity since this morning and waits for the authorities to allow the neighbors to go out into the street. “There are things broken, the most precarious areas or those closest to the sea will be worse,” he says. Through the window he observes the fallen trees but assures that despite everything, the hurricane has not left serious damage and there are no injuries. “We are all fine. Luckily it was quiet. The places here are thinking of opening ”, he details optimistically. Days ago, the Yucatan Peninsula was preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Delta, which made landfall this morning after passing through Cuba and Haiti. It struck first the small island of Cozumel and then the northeast of the peninsula. Luis Alberto Ortega, director of the National Center for Civil Protection Communication and Operation, told the press that no deaths are reported, but there are “minimal” material damage, most of them on the island of Cozumel, with 100,000 inhabitants.

In the April 10 neighborhood of that municipality, nestled between Centro, the Emiliano Zapata neighborhood and the airport, Antonio Morales lives with his family. “The area we live in is all flooded,” says Morales. They waited for the arrival of the hurricane in the family home: “The strongest thing was at three or four in the morning, the power went out and the water level began to rise a lot.” “We were checking in with other friends to see how things developed,” he says. His whole family is fine, but there is still between “30 or 40 centimeters of water”, much less than there was at the strongest moment of the gale. However, there have been material damages with the fall of trees, floods and power cuts, according to Civil Protection. Regional authorities have urged the population to take precautions against hurricane-force winds and waves that can measure up to nine meters, reports Europa Press. This happens at a time when tourism, the main regional economic engine, was already suffering the effects of the coronavirus crisis, materialized in a drastic drop in the arrival of visitors.

Morales currently does not have a job, but before he had a food business that was fed especially by tourism, very crushed by the coronavirus crisis: “We had to close the business because with the covid issue, work fell a lot.” Ana Cano is another example of this coup, she is the owner of the La Troje restaurant, in Cancun, and she describes a desolate landscape. “You cannot walk from the amount of trees that have fallen,” he says, while affirming that the buildings “shook” at the passing of the hurricane, around four in the morning. He does not have electricity or internet, and he says he does not feel “fear”, but does feel a “fear of going out” after the passage of Delta. “There are electrical cables lying on the street and everything is wet,” says Cano. It rains in the wet in the Yucatecan economic crisis, the hurricane season has come to give a new setback to the tourism industry, which is in low hours and has lost up to 74.8% of its activity until August due to the virus in comparison with last year, EFE reports. For Cano, the economy is “out of order.” “Now we have to start over”, sentence.

The storm has forced the evacuation of about 35,000 people, who have had to be housed in shelters until Delta passes. Likewise, there are hundreds of municipalities that have activated these centers to protect the population from the inclemency of wind and rain. An example of this arrangement is that of the Elvira Parra Ávila school, in Mérida, Yucatán. This center announced on its Twitter account that starting at 7.30 this Wednesday it was available to all families who needed help in terms of shelter or food. The school director, Guadalupe Beatriz Lara, tells in a telephone conversation that “it has not stopped raining since seven” in the morning. “This is a very poor neighborhood [donde se encuentra la escuela], and right now four or five families have already arrived ”, says Lara. And he adds: “The Mérida City Council has sent clothes and food for those affected.”


elpais.com