Hurricane Hilary, a formidable storm, has unleashed its fury upon Mexico’s Baja California peninsula and the southwestern regions of the country. This menacing hurricane, dubbed the worst in over a decade, has brought forth torrential rains and fierce winds, sparking concerns about the potential for catastrophic flooding. Nancy Ward, from the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, expressed apprehension, noting that Hilary might be the most severe storm to strike the state in more than ten years.
Although the hurricane weakened from a Category 4 to a Category 2 storm, its capacity to inflict substantial damage remains a concern, as indicated by the US National Hurricane Center (NHC). This agency predicts that the tumultuous conditions caused by Hurricane Hilary will persist along the Baja California coast until Sunday morning. The hurricane is currently sporting maximum sustained winds of 110 mph (175 kph) with heavy rainfall leading to life-threatening flooding.
The ominous center of Hilary is expected to approach the west-central coast of the Baja California Peninsula before crossing southern California and southern Nevada. Although the storm’s strength will likely diminish to that of a tropical storm, the potential for heavy rain and flooding remains a significant threat.
Communities are taking precautions to mitigate the impending disaster. In Cabo San Lucas, a popular Mexican tourist destination, protective measures like boarding up and sandbag placement are underway to safeguard against the destructive waves. Military personnel are patrolling the shores, while streets in towns like Todos Santos appear deserted due to the looming danger.
Mexico’s government is responding proactively, deploying nearly 19,000 soldiers to the most vulnerable areas. Additionally, the federal electric utility has dispatched 800 workers and numerous vehicles to tackle potential power outages.
In the United States, regions such as southern California and southern Nevada are bracing for the storm’s impact. The US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has positioned response teams in the storm’s path, and President Joe Biden is keeping a close watch on developments as he readies himself to assess wildfire damage in Hawaii.
The impending catastrophe has prompted organizations like Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer to reschedule their games in the affected US region.
Hurricanes are a recurring phenomenon in Mexico, striking both Pacific and Atlantic coasts annually. However, their influence seldom extends to California, making this event a rare occurrence. Scientists warn that intensifying storms are an outcome of global warming and climate change.