Mexico braces for Karl’s approach on the coast

By Angelica Jimenez–

The previously reported Category 5 Hurricane Karl was upgraded to Category 3 status and could become stronger later Friday, BBC news reports.   Karl, set to pass through the port cities of Veracruz and Poza Rica, caused Mexico’s Pemex oil to evacuate its staff.  It also could strike the country’s only nuclear generator.  The hurricane warning spans over a 186-mile stretch and has already torn down power lines and trees in the Yucatan Peninsula Thursday.

Residents are preparing for the storm, which the National Hurricane Center warns could likely create “life-threatening flash flooding, especially in mountainous areas.”  Karl will most likely exacerbate the existing flooding problems in Veracruz caused by flooding in recent weeks.

It has been reported that 25 people have died and around one million people have been impacted by the flooding.  Now, with the impending hurricane, these numbers could continue to grow.

To provide some context, Hurricane Katrina was classified as a Category 1 storm on its first landfall in Florida and then to Category 3 on its second day when it descended on southeastern Louisiana.  The catastrophe flooded 80 percent of New Orleans, and thousands of residents are still displaced five years after the storm.

Mexican residents have received the warning, unlike during the 1959 hurricane that killed approximately 1,800 people and caused over $200 million in damage.  This cyclone was considered one of the worst in history when it struck the Pacific coastal states of Colima and Jalisco.

But even with this warning, it hasn’t been reported whether these Mexican states have the infrastructure to sustain the possible damage.

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