Effects of Hurricane Wilma in Mexico: Difference between revisions

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The '''effects of Hurricane Wilma in Mexico''' severely affected the tourism industry of the [[Yucatán peninsulaPeninsula]] in October 2005. [[Hurricane Wilma]] first developed on October 15 in the [[Caribbean Sea]]. Four days later, it intensified into the strongest Atlantic hurricane on record, as measured by [[atmospheric pressure|barometric pressure]]. Wilma weakened as it moved slowly northwestward, eventually making [[landfall (meteorology)|landfall]] late on October 21 on the island of [[Cozumel]] as a Category 4 hurricane on the [[Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale|Saffir-Simpson scale]]. Early the next day, the hurricane made another landfall on the Mexican mainland near [[Puerto Morelos]]. Wilma exited the Yucatán peninsulaPeninsula into the [[Gulf of Mexico]] on October 23, and a day later struck [[Florida]].
The large and powerful hurricane dropped torrential rainfall across the northeastern Yucatán peninsulaPeninsula and on nearby offshore islands. Over a 24-hour period, Wilma dropped {{convert|1633.98|mm|in|abbr=on}} worth of rainfall, which was the great 24 hour accumulation ever recorded in the [[Western Hemisphere]]. Wilma lashed parts of the Yucatán peninsulaPeninsula with tropical storm-force winds for near 50 hours. The hurricane produced Mexico's strongest wind gust ever recorded, when an [[anemometer]] recorded a reading of 212 km/h (132 mph) before the instrument failed. Wind gusts were estimated as high as {{convert|230|km/h|mph|abbr=on}}. The hurricane moved ashore with an estimated {{convert|15|ft|m|abbr=on|order=flip}} [[storm surge]], along with {{convert|5|to|8|m|ft|abbr=on}} waves which reached the third story of some buildings. Wilma severely eroded the beaches of eastern Quintana Roo and also caused flooding in neighboring [[Yucatán (state)|Yucatán]] state.
Wilma contributed to eight deaths in Mexico – seven in Quintana Roo and one in Yucatán. The direct impacts of Hurricane Wilma inflicted about $4.8&nbsp;billion ([[Mexican peso|MXN]], [[United States dollar|US$]]442&nbsp;million){{#tag:ref|All damage totals listed first in [[Mexican dollar]]s, and converted to [[United States dollar]]s (US$) via the [[Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis]].<ref>{{cite web|publisher=Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis|work=Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US)|title=Mexico / U.S. Foreign Exchange Rate|accessdate=May 7, 2020|url=https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/DEXMXUS}}</ref>|group="nb"}} worth of damage, mostly in Quintana Roo, where it was the state's costliest natural disaster. Much of the damage was to tourist areas of [[Cancún]] and other nearby resort areas. The hurricane's indirect costs were significantly higher due to its disruption of tourism revenue, estimated at $13.9&nbsp;billion (US$1.3&nbsp;billion). About 98% of the hotels and resorts in Quintana Roo were damaged, including 110&nbsp;hotels damaged or destroyed in Cancún. Nationwide, Wilma destroyed 9,463&nbsp;houses and caused damage to 19,517&nbsp;other homes. In Cancún alone, the hurricane left 300,000&nbsp;people homeless.
==Background and preparations==
[[Hurricane Wilma]] developed on October&nbsp;15, 2005 in the [[Caribbean Sea]], as assessed by the [[National Hurricane Center]] (NHC). Four days later, it strengthened into a Category&nbsp;5 hurricane on the [[Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale|Saffir-Simpson scale]], with the lowest recorded [[atmospheric pressure|barometric pressure]] of any Atlantic hurricane; [[53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron|reconnaissance aircraft]] recorded a minimum pressure of {{convert|882|mbar|inHg|abbr=on|sigfig=4}}. Wilma weakened as it drifted northwestward through the Caribbean over the next two days.<ref name="TCR"/> Originally, the hurricane was projected to move through the [[Yucatán Channel]] between Mexico and Cuba, but it maintained its northwest trajectory.<ref name="mexdam"/> Wilma made [[landfall (meteorology)|landfall]] late on October&nbsp;21 on the island of [[Cozumel]]; the NHC estimated the landfall intensity at {{Convert|927|mbar|inHg|abbr=on|sigfig=4}}, with [[maximum sustained winds]] of 150&nbsp;mph (240&nbsp;km/h), making it a [[List of Category 4 Atlantic hurricanes|Category&nbsp;4]]. Early on October&nbsp;22, Wilma made a second landfall on the [[Quintana Roo]] mainland near [[Puerto Morelos]]. It then drifted across the northeastern Yucatán peninsulaPeninsula, emerging into the [[Gulf of Mexico]] on October&nbsp;23. The hurricane later moved to the northeast, striking [[Florida]] on October&nbsp;24. It accelerated northeastward across the Atlantic Ocean, becoming an [[extratropical cyclone]] on October&nbsp;26.<ref name="TCR"/>
[[File:Wilma in cozumel island-109920 m.jpg|left|thumb|The [[eye (cyclone)|eye]] of Hurricane Wilma moving over [[Cozumel]]|alt=Satellite image with Cozumel visible within the eye of Wilma]]
On October&nbsp;18, the Mexican government issued a [[tropical cyclone warnings and watches|hurricane watch]] for the east coastline of the [[Yucatán peninsulaPeninsula]] from [[Punta Allen]] to [[Cabo Catoche]], including offshore islands. As the hurricane approached, these watches were upgraded to warnings and expanded from [[Chetumal]] near Belize to [[San Felipe Municipality, Yucatán|San Felipe, Yucatán]]; a tropical storm warning extended westward to [[Celestún]]. These warnings were dropped on October&nbsp;23 as the hurricane moved into the Gulf of Mexico.<ref name="TCR">{{cite web|author1=Richard J. Pasch |author2=Eric S. Blake |author3=Hugh D. Cobb III |author4=David P. Roberts |url={{NHC TCR url|id=AL252005_Wilma}}|title=Hurricane Wilma Tropical Cyclone Report|date=January 12, 2006|publisher=[[National Hurricane Center]]|accessdate=May 7, 2010}}</ref> Mexico's weather service – [[Servicio Meteorológico Nacional (Mexico)|Servicio Meteorológico Nacional]] – issued 88&nbsp;notices or bulletins related to Hurricane Wilma.<ref name="wmo"/> Officials declared a [[state of emergency]] in 23&nbsp;municipalities across the Yucatán,<ref name="ifrc1021"/> and placed Quintana Roo and Yucatán under a [[Tropical_cyclone_warnings_and_watches#Western_hemisphere|red alert]], the highest on its color-coded alert system. Neighboring [[Campeche]] was placed on an orange alert; [[Tabasco]] and [[Veracruz]] were placed on green alert, and [[Chiapas]] was placed on blue alert, the lowest warning on the scale.<ref name="gub1021">{{cite report|work=Government of Mexico|title=Mexico: El Presidente Vicente Fox estará en contacto permanente para ser informado de la evolución del huracán, Rubén Aguilar, vocero de Presidencia|language=Spanish|date=October 21, 2005|at=ReliefWeb|accessdate=March 18, 2020|url=https://reliefweb.int/report/mexico/mexico-el-presidente-vicente-fox-estará-en-contacto-permanente-para-ser-informado-de}}</ref>
Hurricane Wilma affected parts of northeast Mexico that were struck by [[Hurricane Emily (2005)|Hurricane Emily]] in July, as well as [[Hurricane Stan]], which struck Mexico two weeks before Wilma.<ref name="gub"/><ref name="mexdam"/> Ahead of Wilma's landfall, officials cut trees near power lines and placed notices on roads.<ref name="mexdam"/> About 75,000&nbsp;people evacuated in northeastern Mexico, including about 45,000&nbsp;people who rode out the storm in 200&nbsp;emergency shelters, many of them tourists.<ref name="ocha5">{{cite report|work=U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs|at=ReliefWeb|accessdate=March 12, 2020|date=October 24, 2005|title=The Caribbean: Hurricane Wilma OCHA Situation Report No. 5|url=https://reliefweb.int/report/cuba/caribbean-hurricane-wilma-ocha-situation-report-no-5}}</ref> The shelters included schools, clinics and, in one [[Maya peoples|Maya community]], a cave.<ref name="wv">{{cite report|work=World Vision|date=October 25, 2005|title=Hurricane Wilma devastates Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico|at=ReliefWeb|accessdate=March 12, 2020|url=https://reliefweb.int/report/mexico/hurricane-wilma-devastates-yucatan-peninsula-mexico}}</ref> About 300&nbsp;people had to be evacuated when their shelter flooded in Cancún. Thousands of tourists fled the region the day before the hurricane struck,<ref>{{cite news|title=Huracán Wilma azota a balnearios de México y se acerca a Florida|date=October 20, 2005|language=Spanish|url=https://www.eluniverso.com/2005/10/21/0001/14/5936AD55B349445A9DEBB2E87CE3E1A5.html|accessdate=March 18, 2020|agency=Reuters}}</ref> before officials closed the international airports in Cancún and Cozumel.<ref name="wv"/> The police in Cancún ordered that all residents stay in their homes during the storm.<ref name="ifrc1021"/> [[Los Premios MTV Latinoamérica]] – the MTV Video Music Awards Latinoamérica – were canceled due to the hurricane, originally scheduled to occur in [[Playa del Carmen]] on October&nbsp;20.<ref>{{cite news|title=Cancelación definitiva de los Premios MTV Latinoamérica|date=November 16, 2005|language=Spanish|publisher=La Nacion|accessdate=March 18, 2020|url=https://www.lanacion.com.ar/espectaculos/cancelacion-definitiva-de-los-premios-mtv-latinoamerica-nid756808}}</ref> Schools were canceled in Quintana Roo, Yucatán, and Campeche, up to 15&nbsp;days in some areas.<ref name="univer">{{cite report|page=36|title=Evaluación de Daños en la Infraestructura de Quintana Roo y Yucatún Causados por el Huracán Wilma|language=Spanish|author=Orlando de Jesús Alva Gonzákes|publisher=National Autonomous University of Mexico|accessdate=March 18, 2020|year=2015|url=http://www.ptolomeo.unam.mx:8080/xmlui/bitstream/handle/}}</ref>
[[File:Hurricane Wilma 21 oct 2005 1625Z.jpg|right|thumb|Hurricane Wilma about to cross Cozumel, a small island just off the Yucatán Peninsula coast|alt=Satellite image of Wilma with an expansive area of rainbands to its east and northeast]]
While drifting near the Yucatán peninsulaPeninsula, Hurricane Wilma dropped torrential rainfall. Over a 24-hour period beginning at 12:30&nbsp;UTC on October&nbsp;21, a [[pluviometer|rain gauge]] on the offshore [[Isla Mujeres]] recorded {{convert|1633.98|mm|in|abbr=on}} of precipitation. This broke the record for Mexico's highest 24-hour rainfall total, as well as the highest 24&nbsp;hour rainfall total in the Western Hemisphere.<ref name="wmo">{{cite report|url=https://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/www/tcp/documents/FINAL-REPORT-HC-28.pdf|format=PDF|title=Final Report of the RA IV Hurricane Committee Twenty-Eighth Session|year=2006|accessdate=February 6, 2020}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|author=Randall Cerveny|author2=Valentina Davydova Belitskaya|author3=Pierre Bessemoulin|author4=Miguel Cortez|author5=Chris Landsea|author6=Thomas C. Peterson|title=A New Western Hemisphere 24-hour Rainfall Record|year=2007|publisher=World Meteorological Organization|url=https://public.wmo.int/en/bulletin/new-western-hemisphere-24-hour-rainfall-record|accessdate=April 14, 2020|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20190506052659/https://public.wmo.int/en/bulletin/new-western-hemisphere-24-hour-rainfall-record|archive-date=May 6, 2019|url-status=live}}</ref> This was greater than the annual rainfall of Quintana Roo.<ref name="mexdam"/> Over a 12-hour period, the Isla Mujeres station recorded {{convert|1082|mm|in|abbr=on}} of precipitation. This was only {{convert|62|mm|in|abbr=on}} short of the global record for tropical cyclone rainfall over 12&nbsp;hours, set by [[1965–66_South-West_Indian_Ocean_cyclone_season#Tropical_Cyclone_Denise|Cyclone Denise]] in 1966.<ref name="smn"/> Other notable rainfall totals include {{convert|770|mm|in|abbr=on}} recorded in Cancún, and {{convert|376.5|mm|in|abbr=on}} recorded in [[Loché, Yucatán]].<ref>{{cite web|title=Lluvias asociadas a ciclones tropicales|url=https://smn.conagua.gob.mx/es/ciclones-tropicales/lluvias-asociadas-a-ciclones-tropicales|publisher=Servicio Meteorológico Nacional|accessdate=April 15, 2020|language=Spanish}}</ref> Wilma lashed parts of the Yucatán peninsulaPeninsula with tropical storm-force winds for nearly 50&nbsp;hours.<ref name="wmo"/> On the Mexican mainland, a station in [[Cancún]] recorded 10-minute sustained winds of 160&nbsp;km/h (100&nbsp;mph),<ref name="TCR"/> with gusts to 212&nbsp;km/h (132&nbsp;mph) before the [[anemometer]] failed; gusts were estimated at {{convert|230|km/h|mph|abbr=on}}.<ref name="wmo"/> The gust in Cancún was the strongest ever recorded in Mexico.<ref name="smn">{{cite report|url=https://smn.conagua.gob.mx/tools/DATA/Ciclones%20Tropicales/Ciclones/2005-Wilma.pdf|format=PDF|publisher=[[Servicio Meteorológico Nacional (Mexico)|Servicio Meteorológico Nacional]]|title=Resumen del Huracán "Wilma" del Océano Atlático|author=Alberto Hernández Unzón|author2=M.G. Cirilo Bravo|accessdate=April 15, 2020|language=Spanish}}</ref>
Hurricane Wilma inundated parts of the northeastern Yucatán peninsulaPeninsula with a significant [[storm surge]], estimated by the NHC as high as {{convert|15|ft|m|abbr=on|order=flip}},<ref name="TCR"/> resulting in significant beach erosion.<ref name="mexdam"/> The hurricane also damaged coastal [[coral reef]]s.<ref name="erd"/> In Cancún, the wave action washed away about 700,000&nbsp;[[cubic metre|m<sup>3</sup>]] (247&nbsp;million ft<sup>3</sup>) of sand.<ref name="dp">{{cite news|publisher=Digital Post|title=Huracán Wilma en Cancún, afectó el tejido social|language=Spanish|accessdate=March 18, 2020|url=https://digitallpost.com.mx/destacado/huracan-wilma-en-cancun-afecto-el-tejido-social/}}</ref> The seawaters intruded into the Nichupté Bojórquez lagoon near Cancún, causing a disruption in the body of water's bacterial composition.<ref>{{cite journal|author=Carbajal Pérez, N.|year=2009|title=Hidrodinámica y transporte de contaminantes y sedimentos en el Sistema Lagunar de Nichupté-Bojórquez, Quintana Roo|publisher=[[Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad]]|accessdate=March 18, 2020|language=Spanish|url=http://www.conabio.gob.mx/institucion/proyectos/resultados/inf_1ra_parte_CQ063.pdf|format=PDF}}</ref> Seawater also damaged coastal vegetation.<ref name="mexdam"/> High waves from the hurricane trapped or immobilized about 3,800&nbsp;boats in the country, with another 96&nbsp;boats that were damaged.<ref name="gub"/> The hurricane also caused damaged {{convert|490|km2|mi2|abbr=on}} worth of crops, which was more substantial in Yucatán state than Quintana Roo.<ref name="mexdam"/> Affected agriculture industries included corn, papaya, tomatoes, chilis, and livestock, with damaged fences, wind vanes, and other equipment. The storm killed about 10% of the area's bee colonies, affecting 83,000&nbsp;colonies. The heavy rainfall from the storm damaged about {{convert|900|km2|mi2|abbr=on}} of grasslands, potentially disrupting the food supply of about 100,000&nbsp;cows.<ref name="gub">{{cite report|title=Mexico: El Presidente Fox encabezó una Reunión de Evaluación de las zonas afectadas por el Huracán Wilma|date=October 24, 2005|at=ReliefWeb|accessdate=March 13, 2020|url=https://reliefweb.int/report/mexico/mexico-el-presidente-fox-encabezó-una-reunión-de-evaluación-de-las-zonas-afectadas-por|language=Spanish}}</ref> Across the Yucatán peninsulaPeninsula, the hurricane downed about {{convert|1000000|acre|ha|abbr=on}} worth of trees.<ref name="erd">{{cite report|work=Episcopal Relief and Development|at=ReliefWeb|date=November 1, 2005|title=ERD aids communities in Mexico after Hurricane Wilma|url=https://reliefweb.int/report/mexico/erd-aids-communities-mexico-after-hurricane-wilma|accessdate=March 9, 2020}}</ref>
Across Mexico, Wilma killed eight people – seven in Quintana Roo, and one in Yucatán.<ref name="Xin">{{cite news|agency=[[Xinhua]] via [[Comtex]]|date=October 23, 2005|accessdate=March 18, 2020|title=Wilma kills 8 in southeast Mexico|at=ReliefWeb|url=https://reliefweb.int/report/mexico/wilma-kills-8-southeast-mexico}}</ref> In Playa del Carmen, two people died and another seven were injured when a gas tank exploded.<ref>{{cite news|agency=El Pais|date=October 22, 2005|title=El huracán Wilma pierde intensidad a su paso por la península de Yucatán|url=https://elpais.com/internacional/2005/10/22/actualidad/1129932001_850215.html|accessdate=March 18, 2020|language=Spanish}}</ref> One person died in Yucatán after being struck by a fallen tree branch.<ref>{{cite news|title=Three killed in Wilma’s Mexican blitz|date=October 23, 2005|newspaper=Lawrence Journal World|accessdate=March 18, 2020|url=https://www2.ljworld.com/news/2005/oct/23/three_killed_wilmas_mexican_blitz/}}</ref> Three people died on Cozumel island.<ref name="ocha6">{{cite report|work=U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs|at=ReliefWeb|accessdate=March 12, 2020|date=October 25, 2005|title=The Caribbean: Hurricane Wilma OCHA Situation Report No. 6|url=https://reliefweb.int/report/cuba/caribbean-hurricane-wilma-ocha-situation-report-no-6}}</ref> One person in Cancún was electrocuted while preparing for the storm.<ref name="ifrc1021">{{cite report|title=Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico: Hurricane Wilma – Information Bulletin n° 3|work=International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies|at=ReliefWeb|date=October 21, 2005|accessdate=March 12, 2020|url=https://reliefweb.int/report/belize/caribbean-central-america-and-mexico-hurricane-wilma-information-bulletin-n-3}}</ref> Another person died in Cancún because of glass from a broken window.<ref>{{cite news|title=Hurricane Wilma batters Mexican resorts, six dead |date=October 23, 2005|author=Noel Randewich|newspaper=The Star|accessdate=March 18, 2020|url=https://www.thestar.com.my/news/world/2005/10/23/hurricane-wilma-batters-mexican-resorts-six-dead}}</ref> Throughout Mexico, Wilma's damage was estimated at $4.8&nbsp;billion (MXN, US$442&nbsp;million). The hurricane resulted in $13.9&nbsp;billion (US$1.3&nbsp;billion) in lost economic output and earnings, 95% of which was related to lost tourism revenue.<ref name="mexdam"/> Wilma damaged 28,980&nbsp;houses along its path;<ref name="mexdam"/> homes made of cement survived the storm better than those constructed out of local materials.<ref name="sa"/> The storm damaged about 10,000&nbsp;power lines,<ref name="elun"/> along with transmission towers and communication antennas,<ref name="mexdam"/> causing power outages for about 300,000&nbsp;people, as well as disruptions to phone networks. Damage to electrical systems totaled $397.5&nbsp;million (MXN, US$36.6&nbsp;million), mostly in Quintana Roo.<ref name="univer"/><ref name="sa"/><ref name="wv">{{cite report|work=World Vision|date=October 25, 2005|title=Hurricane Wilma devastates Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico|at=ReliefWeb|accessdate=March 12, 2020|url=https://reliefweb.int/report/mexico/hurricane-wilma-devastates-yucatan-peninsula-mexico}}</ref> Across the region, Wilma damaged 473&nbsp;schools,<ref name="mexdam"/> including about 60% of such institutions in Quintana Roo; damage to schools was estimated at $156&nbsp;million (MXN, US$14.4&nbsp;million). Hospitals sustained damage to medical equipment, particularly in the general hospitals of Cancún and Cozumel.<ref name="univer"/> High winds knocked down traffic signals, signs, and fences.<ref name="mexdam">{{cite report|title=Características e Impacto Socioeconómico de los Principales Desastres Ocurridos en la República Mexicana en el Año 2005|date=August 2006|language=Spanish|url=http://www.proteccioncivil.gob.mx/work/models/ProteccionCivil/Resource/375/1/images/no_7.pdf|format=PDF|publisher=Sistema Nacional de Protección Civil|accessdate=February 10, 2020}}</ref>
Damage was heaviest in Quintana Roo, estimated at $4.506&nbsp;billion (MXN, US$415&nbsp;million); this made it the costliest recorded hurricane in the state. Across the state, Wilma destroyed 4,571&nbsp;houses and damaged another 18,179 to some degree.<ref name="mexdam"/> Wilma also damaged 98% of the hotels in Quintana Roo, which includes the resort towns of Cozumel, Cancún, and Playa del Carmen.<ref>{{cite journal|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=LoRNAQAAMAAJ&lpg=RA4-PA11&dq=%22hurricane%20wilma%22%20merida%20yucatan%20airport&pg=RA4-PA9#v=onepage&q&f=false|journal=State Magazine|date=February 2008|page=9-11|title=Storm Teams|author=Thu M. Nyugen}}</ref> The hurricane caused significant damage in Cozumel and Isla Mujeres, both located offshore the east coast of the Yucatán peninsulaPeninsula. Flooding on Cozumel reached {{convert|1|m|ft|abbr=on}} in some places.<ref name="mexdam"/> The Cozumel boardwalk was wrecked.<ref name="univer"/> On the Quintana Roo mainland, Wilma's passage left areas without power, water, and gas.<ref name="ocha5"/> The storm damaged businesses, gas stations, and warehouses.<ref name="univer"/> High waves damaged the foundation of a hotel in [[Puerto Morelos]], causing it to partially collapse; it was demolished after the hurricane.<ref name="univer"/> The hurricane caused significant flooding damage in [[Benito Juárez Municipality, Quintana Roo|Benito Juárez]] and [[Solidaridad Municipality|Solidaridad]] municipalities, which include Cancún and Playa del Carmen.<ref name="mexdam"/>
[[File:Hurricane Wilma damage Cancun (59103773).jpg|left|thumb|Storm damage in Cancún|alt=Photograph of a damaged building and storm debris]]
==See also==
{{Portal|Tropical cyclones}}
*[[Hurricane Gilbert]]&nbsp;– the strongest Atlantic hurricane before Wilma, struck the Yucatán peninsulaPeninsula in 1988
*[[Hurricane Isidore]]&nbsp;– slow-moving hurricane in 2002 that struck the north coast of the Yucatán peninsulaPeninsula
*[[Hurricane Janet]]&nbsp;– powerful hurricane that struck the Yucatán peninsulaPeninsula in 1955