Hurricane Ingrid, bearing down on eastern Mexico as Tropical Depression Manuel dissipated over west-central areas, will probably make landfall today, with both systems forecast to bring life-threatening floods.
The second hurricane of the Atlantic season is about 95 miles (155 kilometers) north-northeast of the Mexican city of Tampico and is projected to dump as much as 25 inches (64 centimeters) of rain in the east of the country, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in an advisory at 5 a.m. New York time. It packed maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour, classifying it as a category 1 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale.
Ingrid is moving west-northwest at 7 mph [10.8 km/h] and a hurricane warning is in effect for Cabo Rojo to La Pesca, while there is a hurricane warning for north of La Pesca to Rio San Fernando and South of Cabo Rojo to Tuxpan, according to the advisory.
“The center of Ingrid should cross the coast of Mexico within the hurricane warning area later this morning or early this afternoon,” the Miami-based center said. “These rains are likely to result in life-threatening flash floods and mud slides.”
Manuel has dissipated, with heavy rains forecast to continue along the southwestern coast of Mexico, according to a separate advisory. Its remnants, about 5 miles |7.7 km] west of Puerto Vallarta, will probably also create flash floods and drop as much as 25 inches [63.5 cms] of rain.
An estimated 6,000 people have been evacuated in the state of Veracruz along the Gulf coast, Mexico’s Reforma newspaper reported on Sept. 14. Heavy rains and landslides caused by Ingrid and Manuel have caused at least 21 deaths, according to the Associated Press.
Ingrid on Sept. 14 drifted west across the Bay of Campeche where Petroleos Mexicanos, Mexico’s state-owned oil company known as Pemex, has its two largest oil fields. They produce about 1.25 million barrels a day.
Pemex suspended air and sea operations at its rigs in the bay, according to a company statement last week. The oil ports of Cayo Arcas, which processes about 68 percent of Mexico’s crude exports, and Dos Bocas were closed, the country’s Merchant Marine said in a weather bulletin dated Sept. 14.
The main impact of the two storms will be “mammoth rainfall amounts” across southern Mexico, according to Michael Schlacter, the founder of Weather 2000 Inc. in New York.
“The worst things for heavy rain are hills, mountains and mud,” he said by phone yesterday, projecting as many as five days of heavy rain across southern Mexico. “The consequences for humanitarian purposes are just that more horrific.”
Manuel became the 13th storm of the Pacific season, which began May 15. The Atlantic hurricane period runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.
The Gulf is home to about 23 percent of U.S. crude production, 5.6 percent of gas output, and more than 45 percent of petroleum refining capacity, according to data from the Energy Department.
–With assistance from Richard Jarvie in Buenos Aires, Jonathan Roeder in Mexico City, Ann Koh in Singapore, Firat Kayakiran in London, Dan Hart in Washington, Nathan Gill in Quito, Greg Ahlstrand in Hong Kong and Edward Welsch in Calgary. Editors: Matthew Brown, Raj Rajendran