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Tropical Storm “Gamma” claims 6 lives, stalls near the coast of Yucatan

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Tropical Storm "Gamma" made landfall near Tulum, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico over the weekend with near-hurricane force winds and very heavy rain, claiming the lives of at least 6 people and forcing thousands to evacuate.

Gamma made landfall near Tulum at 16:45 UTC on Saturday, October 3, with maximum sustained winds of 110 km/h (70 mph).

According to Mexico's civil defense agency, 4 people, including 2 children, died in Chiapas after a landslide buried their home.

Two people drowned in separate incidents in Tabasco, the worst affected state where more than 3 400 residents evacuated to shelters.

At 06:00 UTC on October 5, the center of Tropical Storm "Gamma" was located about 290 km (180 miles) ENE of Progreso and 265 km (165 miles) NNW of Cozumel, Mexico. It had maximum sustained winds of 85 km/h (50 mph) and minimum central pressure of 999 hPa.

Gamma was moving W at just 4 km/h (2 mph).

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for areas north and west of Cancun to Dzilam, Mexico, and a Tropical Storm Watch for areas west of Dzilam to Campeche, Mexico.

Tropical Storm "Gamma" at 21:40 UTC on October 3, 2020. Credit: NOAA/GOES-16, RAMMB/CIRA

On the current NHC forecast track, the center of Gamma will continue to meander offshore of the northern Yucatan Peninsula this morning (LT), and pass near or just offshore of the northern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula late today and on Tuesday, October 6.

Gamma is expected to continue weakening over the next 48 hours, followed by little change in strength.

The storm is expected to drop an additional 75 – 150 mm (3 to 6 inches) of rainfall, with isolated amounts of 205 mm (8 inches), across portions of Yucatan, Campeche, and Tabasco.

This rainfall may enhance any ongoing flash flooding and result in areas of flash flooding into the middle of the weak.

Featured image: Tropical Storm "Gamma" at 21:40 UTC on October 3, 2020. Credit: NOAA/GOES-16, RAMMB/CIRA

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